Issue 36 Editorial
In this Issue, we focus on operability (controllability + workability), accessibility and manoeuvrability. The cover story paints the unfortunate tale of the day that it all went wrong for the master, when he briefly lost control of his ship due to weather and a number of design flaws.
The cover story in this issue paints the unfortunate tale of the day that it all went wrong for the master, when he briefly lost control of his ship due to weather conditions and a number of design flaws related to operability and manoeuvrability which, with a little thought during design, could have been avoided.
In this Issue, we focus on operability (controllability + workability), accessibility and manoeuvrability.
It is often said that if you ask 10 ship’s masters how they want their bridge laid out you will get 10 different answers. Likewise, if you were to ask 10 chief mates to design the layout of their cargo control room or 10 chief engineers their machinery control room. This is not surprising, because, for a variety of reasons, each person has his own preferences for the layout of control spaces, for the way in which he/she monitors, receives and processes information, reacts to alarms and alerts and manages the various controls associated with a myriad of instruments and systems associated with the navigation and the safe conduct of the ship.
Height, stature, hearing, visuality, manual dexterity (right-handed or left-handed), culture, language, age (boomers, generation x, generation y) can dictate one’s personal preferences for the positioning (head-up, head-down, line of sight) and type (analogue, digital, linear, circular, roller ball, mouse) of controls, readouts, gauges and operating systems. Add to that the problems of understanding the operation of different systems from different manufacturers - each of whom is competing for business and wants to add another ‘useful tool’- and without proper familiarisation and training, then it is no wonder that accidents such as that described in our cover story occur.
Relevant Alert! bulletins,
Issues No. 3 - Ergonomics,
No. 7 - Design and usability, No. 8 – Building, No. 11 – Integration, No. 15 – Automation, No. 17 - Slips, trips and falls
and No 21 – Information Management,
and their associated centrespreads and videos can be downloaded from: