Join the Alert project: Safely leaving the navigation bridge unattended for periods of time while at sea
Jan 25 2024
Within the new JIP initiative Alert we will determine the conditions for when it is safe to periodically leave navigation spaces unattended and at the same time examine whether that improves the safety, working and living situation for the crew on board. We are starting this JIP together with shipping companies, other maritime companies and institutes. New participants are very welcome to join. A consultation session will be organised on 14 March 2024.
Fatigue, due to irregular working and sleeping hours and monotonous (boring) working conditions, negatively affects watchstanders across the maritime industry. Combined with excessive working hours when the ship is in port or when it transits busy shipping areas, fatigue is frequently the cause of (near-) accidents and incidents. Without any prospects of improvements, such working conditions also cause well-trained and highly educated individuals to leave the profession, resulting in continual hiring and training to be part of the regular ship operation.
We want to improve that situation by making it possible for the navigation bridge to be left unattended when the conditions are monotonously safe. We place a virtual dome around the ship. The greater the extent of the dome, the stricter the conditions, the sooner the seafarers are warned. When and which extent of the dome is appropriate?
The principle is based on the experiences with machinery spaces on board. For several decades, machinery spaces have benefitted from automation systems and ‘unattended machinery spaces’ designation, to allow machinery spaces to be unattended mostly during the ‘dark hours’ of the day. Automation systems monitor the technical operation to alert the engineer on duty, when necessary, to any issues needing attention. The set-up of unattended machinery spaces allowed the engineers to dedicate their working hours to the necessary maintenance during the daylight hours and maintain a more favourable and healthier daylight/nighttime sleeping pattern.