Ferreirolo ® 17-Mar-2020 21:44

Crew Size and maritime safety


Year: 1990
Language: english
Author: William M.Benkert et alli
Genre: Reference book
Publisher: National Academy Press
ISBN: 0-309-04375-1
Format: PDF
Quality: eBook
Pages count: 184
Description: Automation and mechanization of ships over the past three decades have resulted in continual reductions in the sizes of crews. Today the crew of a typical, recently built U.S.-flag vessel totals 20 to 24, compared with about 45 crew members 30 years ago. Some similarly designed foreign-flag vessels are manned by crews of 12 to 16. Highly automated foreign ships may operate with crews of 8 to 12.
Crew reductions accelerated in the 1980s as ship owners and operators throughout the world applied automation technology to make ships more efficient in the face of a serious shipping recession. The traditional shipping nations of Asia and northern Europe have been especially aggressive in substituting technology for personnel. Crew reductions by those national fleets came only after considerable study, review, and experimentation by the governments, operating companies, and labor organizations involved. The U.S. maritime industry has been slower to adopt these innovations.
While the crew reductions recently realized in the United States, and more dramatically in other nations, have improved operating efficiency, they have also raised concerns about their impacts on vessel and personnel safety.
The U.S. Coast Guard, responsible for the safety of waterborne commerce, requested that the National Research Council (NRC) assess the safety implications of recent sharp reductions in crew sizes and advise on ways to evaluate and improve the safety of different manning levels. Accordingly, the NRC's Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (CETS) convened the Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety. Committee members were selected for their expertise and to achieve balanced experience and viewpoints. (Biographical information about committee members is presented in Appendix A.) The principle guiding the constitution of the committee and its work, consistent with NRC policy, was not to exclude the bias that might accompany expertise vital to the study, but to seek balance and fair treatment. The committee operated under the auspices of the Marine Board, a unit of CETS.

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