Developing a Value Proposition of Maritime Ergonomics
There is a large body of knowledge available on the importance of ergonomics for successful
(and unsuccessful) systems. Domain specific handbooks, guidelines and standards can be
found also for the maritime industry. Yet, the deteriorating figure of maritime casualties and
the high incidence of occupational accidents suggest this knowledge is not utilised to its full
Emphasis in this thesis was given to the knowledge base of ergonomics in vessel design and
operation. Specifically, the aim was to develop a value proposition of maritime ergonomics,
positioning the potential core values of ergonomics that can be delivered to stakeholders within
and outside the maritime transport system. This project has therefore taken an exploratory
Seven studies have been performed, structured around three themes: maritime ergonomics,
the effects of maritime ergonomics on operational performance, and the development and
transfer of ergonomics knowledge. The methods used were mainly literature studies, individual
and focus group interviews, observation and case study.
The results of the studies show a link between ergonomics and the value creating process in
the maritime transport system. The developed value proposition describes the value for the
employee in terms of improved health and well-being, learning, performance, skill discretion
and independence in life. Values for the company include increased operational performance
and flexibility, advantages in recruiting and retaining personnel and organizational learning.
Values for the sector include competitive strength, attractiveness of work and increased organizational
learning across the industry. Values for the society include reduced costs for health
care and social security, reduced environmental impact, and a sustainable working life.
To conclude, these results can be seen as a first step to make visible the effects of ergonomics
management on overall systems performance in the maritime domain. Suggestions for further
work include complementary studies to investigate the feasibility in early crew participation
and incorporating ergonomics methods and techniques in the toolboxes of naval architects
and other system builders.