The impact of safety factors on decision-making in maritime navigation
Authors: Hui Xue, Johan-Fredrik Røds, Bjørn-Morten Batalden
Abstract: On the basis of the Safety System Project theory, the navigation system is a ‘ship-human-environment’ [1,2]. Hence, approximately 85% of maritime accidents are accounted for by navigation accidents (i.e., collision and grounding) , caused by human errors such as mistakes in impropriate decision-making [4,5]. In maritime navigation, decision-making skills are the key to safe sailing . However, the assessment of decision-making based on objective measurements is rarely studied.This paper aims to assess the impact of safety factors on decision-making in maritime navigation. In this study, two different levels of complexity with a different number of safety factors are designed for the experiment. NASA-TXL rating is used as a subjective assessment tool to rate the perceived workload and performance of the participants [7,8]. In addition, several learning objectives were listed, performance criteria were developed, and objective performance measures such as deviation from the planning route are used to analyze the participants’ decision-making and performance. Statistical tests are applied to determine the significance of the results. The experiment is conducted on a full-mission, motion-platform ship bridge simulator. A total of 22 nautical science students voluntarily participated. The participants are familiarized with the simulated ship model from their previous navigational training. The voyage is in an area near Tromsø in the north of Norway. The sailing route is about 14 kilometers long in narrow water with a sharp turn and passes under a tall, narrow bridge. The results indicate that when the participants were in a more complex scenario with more safety factors associated with navigational tasks, they felt a significantly higher workload and stress level than they were in an easier scenario with safety factors. In the complex scenario, the deviation from the planned route is overall higher than in the easy scenario, however, the trend seems to be that they fast sail back into the planned route. While the grope of sailing in an easy scenario takes more time to get back to the planned route from the point where the deviation is largest. The results also showed that while they were under different stress due to different safety factors, they all performed about the same. The finding of the study proved that when the participants are more stressed, safety is the priority in their decision-making. Human behavior has adaption so that under a certain range of stress, the performance can be stable and does not change with the stress level . The research helps enhance decision-making skills in maritime training programs.
Keywords: maritime navigation, safety, decision, making, simulator, based training
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