Frequently sounding bridge warnings, especially false ones, can create ‘alarm fatigue’ and hinder watch keepers in carrying out their vital role, a new survey supported by InterManager has revealed.
Captain Kuba Zymanski, Advisory Board Member and Secretary General of InterManager explains: “It is evident from the feedback of seafarers that the current regulations and arrangements relating to bridge alarm monitoring and systems can be improved upon. Doing so will improve the working environment of seafarers and assist with the reduction of related claims.”
Responding to the findings, Captain Kuba Zymanski is now calling for manufacturers to work with ship operators to address seafarers’ concerns and develop better ways of communicating bridge warnings.
Respondents highlighted there is a problem with too many similar sounding alarms and revealed a need for alarms to be easily identifiable so that urgent warnings can be recognised over simple notification bells.
The findings have been recently released by P&I Club, Shipowners Club, which conducted the survey in conjunction with the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London, ISWAN and InterManager, in order to investigate whether alarms on the bridge may affect the attention and focus of bridge watchkeepers.
The survey was largely responded to by Masters and senior officers, which demonstrates that the concerns are apparent to experienced and well-qualified seafarers. Respondents came from a wide variety of vessel types.
Key findings include:
• 89% of participants thought false alarms were a problem.
• 66% said the alarms were not easily detectable.
• 57% of respondents disagreed that alarms are graded by sound.
• 50% of participants reported some frustration with the format of the alarms themselves. Of particular concern was the fact that sounds are frequently the same tone for all alarms with no distinguishing factors between alarm systems.
• 77% of crew do not want to be disturbed from their watch keeping duties.
• 24% of participants reported that they never or seldom engaged the Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System due to their concerns at frequent false alarms.
The main issue raised was frequent alarm fatigue, followed by the fact that alarms are hard to identify, and then concerns over the design of alarm system or the bridge itself. The results present a reoccurring theme regarding the grading of alarms to assist the watch keeper.
For further information please visit: http://www.elabor8.co.uk/constant-bridge-warnings-create-alarm-fatigue-survey-reveals/