Crew Endurance Management - Addressing the Mariner Lifestyle

The lifestyle of the mariner is challenging to the natural design of the human body. This 24/7 operation challenges crewmembers to work against their body’s natural biological need to sleep at certain times and adjust their other biological needs.

Maintaining a healthier lifestyle is vital, both on the vessel and at home, to optimize a good quality of life. The derailment of a mariner’s career because of health problems and accidents is a high price to pay for not identifying the challenges and working towards better health.

The Crew Endurance Management System (CEMS) was developed by the US Coast Guard to address these challenges in a specific and proven application. One focus is the biological need for sleep at

certain times and the risk factors that lead to sleep degradation affecting the quantity and quality
of sleep, issues directly related to health problems and accidents.

Risk factors, defined as factors which can threaten operational safety and crewmember efficiency, must be identified. The CEMS Decision Support System Work Sheet consists of 15 risk factors that are categorized under sleep, schedule, physical, environmental or personal areas which must be completed by each crewmember.

The CEMS Work Sheet is designed to evaluate risk factors during an average 7 day work period realizing at any given times these risks may be higher or lower. Each risk factor is ranked between 0 – 7 (i.e. - 0 if the risk factor doesn’t occur; 7 if the risk factor occurs all 7 days).

The CEMS Decision Support Software (DSS) training tool enables maritime operators to assess 15 Crew Endurance Risk Factors and subsequently develop crew endurance plans to address those areas needing improvement. Each evaluation is entered in this DSS tool and the average of all work sheets is grafted.

The Data Graph summary provides a snapshot providing the basis for developing a Crew Endurance Plan. Clicking on a risk factor will bring up a Results Summary and Crew Endurance Risk Factor Controls page which provides an explanation of that risk factor and where to find more information on how to control this particular risk factor in the Crew Endurance Guide, also located on the USCG CEMS website.

The DSS training tool can be downloaded from:

The Crew Endurance Management Guide can be downloaded from: