Document Type

Conference Paper Open Access

Conference Name

19th Triennial Congress of the IEA

Conference Location

Melbourne, Australia

Conference Dates

9-14 August 2015

Publication Date



Since 2003, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has emphasised the need to address and integrate ergonomics knowledge in a concerted manner. However, there is little guidance on the application of this knowledge in the design of merchant vessels. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, the paper identifies the need for crew-centered design (CCD), highlighting the importance of using concepts derived from Human-Centred Design (HCD) to be able to design work spaces and operational procedures that facilitate the work of the crew on board. Drawing upon results obtained from accident analysis (utilising the Technique for the Retrospective and predictive Analysis of Cognitive Errors - TRACEr) and 24 semi-structured interviews, this paper identifies areas in which it could be potentially beneficial to integrate end-users in the design of ships and shipborne operations. This paper further discusses why and how concepts rooted in HCD could be used to improve maritime workspace and interface design, as well as the design of procedures and shipborne operations. However, due to the specifics of the maritime domain, the authors propose that there is the need to expand the HCD perspective, making the design not only fit a single user, but to fit the crew as part of a maritime socio-technical system. The paper discusses that the case for CCD is imperative in the interest of safety, efficiency and even makes economic sense.