Progress in Brain Research
In this paper, we investigate how perception, decision making and fatigue affect safety in the maritime industry. With maritime safety incidents often having disastrous effects on the lives of the seafarers, the natural environment, and the industry as a whole, a better understanding of the science behind the human errors is necessary to increase safety at sea. We conducted interviews and real time observations of seafarers, and we combine our findings with a review of relevant academic literature with the aim of using scientific knowledge to address a real-world problem. We conclude that the seafarers consistently work at the limits of their cognitive abilities and that better care for their wellbeing is crucial for safety at sea. It is hoped that this study will be beneficial to the practitioners in the field of the maritime industry as well as psychologists studying the effects of long term, high cognitive loads in the work environment.