The objective is to increase awareness of the complexity of fatigue and to
encourage all parties involved in ship operations to take these factors into
account when making operational decisions.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF FATIGUE
2.1 Fatigue results in the
degradation of human performance, the slowing down of physical and mental
reflexes and/or the impairment of the ability to make rational judgments.
2.2 Fatigue may be induced by
factors such as prolonged periods of mental or physical activity, inadequate
rest, adverse environmental factors, physiological factors and/or stress or
other psychological factors.
CLASSIFICATION OF FATIGUE FACTORS IN RELATED GROUPS
3.1 In the case of seafarers, among
the most commonly recognized and documented causes of fatigue are poor quality
of rest, excessive workload, noise and interpersonal relationships. The
contributory factors that lead to the above are many and varied. The
significance of these factors as contributory causes of fatigue will vary
depending on operational circumstances. Some factors will be more manageable
than others. Such factors can be grouped as follows:
3.1.1 Management ashore and aboard ship, and responsibilities of
- scheduling of work and rest
- manning levels;
- assignment of duties;
- shore-ship-shore support and communication;
- standardization of work procedures;
- voyage planning;
- watch-keeping practices;
- management policy;
- import operations;
- recreational facilities;
- administrative duties.
3.1.2 Ship-specific factors:
- level of automation;
- reliability of equipment;
- motion characteristics;
- vibration, heat and noise levels;
- quality of working and living environment;
- cargo characteristics/requirements;
- ship design.
3.1.3 Crew-specific factors:
- thoroughness of training;
- crew composition
- crew competency and quality.
3.1.4 External environmental factors:
- port conditions;
- ice conditions;
- density of vessel traffic.
4.1 Management ashore, aboard ship, and also the responsibilities of
4.1.1 The prevention of
fatigue in the areas of scheduling of shipboard work and rest periods, manning
levels, watch-keeping practices and assignment of duties could largely be
accomplished by sensible shore-based management and on-board management
techniques. It is also recognized that Administrations have an equally important
role to play with respect to legislation leading to acceptance, implementation
and enforcement in those areas covered by international conventions. Guidelines
and provisions should take into account the relationships between work and rest
periods to ensure adequate rest. These considerations should include a review of
the voyage length, length of port stay, length of service of individual crew
members, periods of responsibility and watch-keeping practices.
4.1.2 It is essential
that management should provide clear, concise written policy guidance to ensure
that ships' crews are familiar with ships' operational procedures, cargo
characteristics, voyage length, destination, internal and external communication
practices and ship familiarization procedures.
4.1.3 Management should recognize
that crews joining a ship need to be adequately rested before assuming on-board
4.2 Ship-specific factors
4.2.1 In designing or
modifying ships, existing requirements, recommendations, standards and
publications pertaining to the listed factors should be taken into account.
Additionally, allowance should be made in designing ships for the adoption of
ergonomic practices to prevent fatigue from these factors.
4.3 Crew-specific factors
4.3.1 Thoroughness of training
is considered to be important in the prevention of fatigue. Fitness for duty,
including medical fitness, proper working experience and the qualifications and
quality of crew members are also considered important in this context.
4.3.2 It is important that
management recognizes the potential problems stemming from the employment of
multinational crews on the same vessel, a practice that might result in language
barriers and in social, cultural and religious isolation, all of which may lead
to safety problems.
4.3.3 Special emphasis should
be placed by management on issues of interpersonal relationships, loneliness,
social deprivation and increased workloads which may occur as a result of small
4.3.4 Boredom can contribute to
fatigue, and it is therefore necessary to provide seafarers with appropriate
4.4 External environmental factors
4.4.1 In respect of
the listed external environmental factors, it should also be recognized that
they could contribute to fatigue.
It must be noted that a ship may
be detained if conditions are violated.
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