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Towards consonance in working conditions, health and performance aboard high-performance marine craft

Time: Tue 2020-09-29 10.00

Location: Room No: 132 (Code: F3) Live-streaming: Register in advance for this webinar: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you lack computer or computerskills, contact Karl Garme at, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Vehicle and Maritime Engineering

Doctoral student: Manudul Pahansen de Alwis , Marina system

Opponent: Professor Stephen Myers, University of Chichester, UK

Supervisor: Karl Garme, Marina system; Anders Rosén, Marina system

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The High-Performance Marine Craft (HPMC) is a complex man-machine system dealing with the stochastic nature of the sea. The occupants of these craft are challenged by the strenuous work environments resulting in various detrimental conditions and reducing the overall performance of the system. The sophisticated craft, designed and developed for high operational demands, are underused due to the human limitations while occupants confronting various psychophysical impairments. A balance is required between the craft and human to get the most out of the system as an ensemble. Achieving that, the knowledge is essential about the human response to the working conditions aboard HPMC which is lacking in the scientific community.

In this context, a research program has been commenced to investigate working conditions aboard HPMC and the response of the craft occupants in terms of health and performance. The thesis presents the research as a holistic approach to integrate the exposure-response relationship into HPMC design and operation.

An epidemiological study is designed and executed to identify and quantify the risk associated with the working conditions aboard HPMC. As the first step, two web-based questionnaire tools are developed, validated and pilot tested for cross-sectional and longitudinal investigation of health and performance in HPMC occupants. Then a sample of HPMC occupants is investigated for work-related and individual risk factors relating to their work-exposure, health and performance in a cross-sectional cohort study. The prevalence of health impairments and performance degradation is determined while estimating their association with work exposure. Following that, another sample of HPMC occupants is longitudinally examined in a prospective cohort study for their work exposure, health and performance estimating the incidence of adverse health effects and its association with the occupational exposure to shock and vibration. Finally, a method is developed for a decision support feedback system continuously updating the crew during real-time operations on the severity of expected high-intensity short-duration impacts as well as the accumulated vibration exposure aboard HPMC.

The cross-sectional study shows that the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) among HPMC occupants is comparatively high and that the exposure to severe conditions aboard semi-displacement and planing craft increases the risk of MSP. The latter also increases the risk of performance degradation. The longitudinal study indicates an incidence of MSP and performance degradation in HPMC occupants. It also suggests that the accumulation of occupational exposure to shock and vibration aboard HPMC is a factor increasing the risk of MSP incidence while quantifying the level of risk. The introduced method for real-time crew feedback is capable of capturing the exposure severity and informing it to the crew in a sufficiently short time.

The research has successfully achieved the objectives. It has also highlighted the areas that need further improvements and suggested the domains that require extended investigations.