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Human factors: eliminating instrumental distractions on a ship’s bridge to improve watch officer’s situational awareness focus

Khalique, A (2024) Human factors: eliminating instrumental distractions on a ship’s bridge to improve watch officer’s situational awareness focus. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) require ships’ Officers of the Watch (OOWs) to maintain a proper lookout by sight despite provision of centralised navigational and collision avoidance information via modern multifunction displays (MFDs). However, OOWs spend more time on gathering
information from MFDs than on maintaining a visual lookout. Apart from anecdotal evidence, no formal evaluation has ever been carried out to quantify these interruptions. Even though it can be attributed to the lack of a formal definition of the term ‘proper lookout’ used in the IRPCS but the seafarer fraternity has paid very little attention to the intricacies of maintaining a proper lookout. The author presents a definition for inclusion in the IRPCS, thus paving the way to revolutionise the whole lookout concept. Further, this research also evidences the impact of MFDs on maintaining a lookout in the context of human eye functionality, leading to recommendations for mitigation of distractions caused by them. This impact was measured by use of Eye Tracking Devices (ETDs) in bridge simulators and on real ships to capture, analyse and compare data on watchkeepers’ eye movement. This analysis leads the author to establish a distraction evaluation ratio (DER) for distractions caused by MFDs to maintain a proper lookout as required by IRPCS. Drawing on research in the aviation and road vehicle industries and making use of the DER, the author introduces the Centre Console Display (CCD) concept, in which only the most relevant collision avoidance and navigational information is displayed to the OOW to declutter information displayed on MFDs, thus reducing distractions thereof. In achieving an overall improvement in the DER, a visual scan pattern associated with maintaining a proper lookout is also introduced to ensure OOWs have some specific guidance when maintaining an effective lookout. After implementing these novel concepts, the ETD data is once again captured in the bridge simulator, analysed and
then validated by similar data captured on real ships. The evidence gathered in this research shows that watchkeepers trained in maintaining a proper lookout are more effective and therefore display notable improvement in reducing DER through refining their behaviours in conjunction with decluttered MFDs that avoid information overload thus overcoming distractions caused by MFDs. The 4 research outputs lead to a conclusion that the time OOWs spend on maintaining visual lookout can be easily increased, enabling them to comply fully with the true spirit of the IRPCS requirements to maintain a ‘proper lookout’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lookout; Watchkeeper; Distractions; Eye Tracking Devices; proper lookout; multifunction displays; Scan pattern; Window Wipe Scan
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Engineering
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2024 14:19
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 14:23
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00023316
Supervisors: Blanco-Davis, E and Jenkinson, I
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23316
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