December 2013 update

Project MARTHA – an update on progress
Building on its predecessor project HORIZON, the new project MARTHA, sponsored by The TK Foundation, continues this groundbreaking research into seafarer fatigue. Led by Warsash Maritime Academy at Southampton Solent University, the consortium includes the Stress Research Institute in Stockholm; the Centre of Maritime Health and Society in Esbjerg, Denmark; the University of Southampton; and the Dalian Maritime University in China. InterManager is also a partner, and is helping the consortium to find volunteer shipping companies within its membership to participate in the project.
MARTHA will conduct two linked studies involving Masters of vessels and their crews. The first study includes 3-4 months of observation on the longer-term psycho-social issues affecting seafarer fatigue, with volunteer crew members rating their fatigue and stress levels and wearing Actiwatches periodically to record their activity levels. The second study will be a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of fatigue risk management systems (FRMS) through a shipboard study. FRMS are also being pioneered in aviation, and involve the use of fatigue prediction models, transparent reporting systems, and training.
Providing training is one of the ways in which the research team can immediately help the shipping companies that have chosen to participate in MARTHA. “As well as giving us data, we will be offering distance learning training on fatigue awareness to individuals, so their knowledge will be growing and they will also gain from the experience,” says Mike Barnett, the project manager. With InterManager’s help, Mike is now entering into dialogue with companies to explain the details of the project, with the research studies aimed to start in early 2014.
“Fatigue is a very serious issue which has not been properly researched yet, especially as it relates to the maritime industry. Project HORIZON established baseline information on fatigue, but it is time we explore the whole issue further. I am delighted that industry and the research partners have come together and that the TK Foundation can assist in this extremely important project. I have no doubt the results will be a ‘game changer’”, says Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager.”

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