The role of navigational assistance in managing uncertainty and improving safety at sea.
Paper in proceeding, 2016

This paper considers a case study of a potential close quarters situation between three vessels, viewed as a case of sociotechnical work and analysed using a model of navigational assistance developed using the Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM). A large bulk carrier finds itself in a potential close quarters situation with two other vessels near the entrance to a deep water channel. Uncertainty regarding the vessel's draught restricts its manoeuvrability, increasing the risk of collision and grounding. Analysis of this case illustrates how a potentially unsafe situation may be identified, communicated and resolved by the interaction between vessels and shore, thereby improving safety in everyday operations. Furthermore, it shows how FRAM may be used effectively both for modelling a work practice on a generic level, and also for understanding how work is conducted safely in a specific situation.

Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM)


Vessel Traffic Services (VTS)


sociotechnical systems


Linda de Vries

Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) Human Factors in Ship Design and Operation Conference 2016.

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Work Sciences

Transport Systems and Logistics

Interaction Technologies

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