Developing a Value Proposition of Maritime Ergonomics
Doktorsavhandling, 2012

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 potential. 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 qualitative approach. 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.

operational performance

socio-technical systems.


value proposition

maritime economics

human element


participatory ergonomics

Delta, Campus Lindholmen
Opponent: Professor Mike Barnett, Southampton Solent University, UK


Cecilia Österman

Chalmers, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Maritime Operations

Performance influencing factors in maritime operations

The Human Element Container Shipping, edited by Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik & Susanne Neumann,; (2012)

Kapitel i bok

Enabling end-user participation in ship design

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference - Wellbeing and Innovation Through Ergonomics,; (2011)p. 243-248

Övrigt konferensbidrag

Exploring Maritime Ergonomics from a Bottom Line Perspective

WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs,; Vol. 9(2010)p. 153-168

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

The human element in maritime logistics

Maritime logistics: a complete guide to effective shipping and port management. Edited by Dong-Wook Song & Photis M Panayides,; (2012)p. 59-74

Kapitel i bok


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi


Transportteknik och logistik


Hållbar utveckling



Lärande och undervisning

Pedagogiskt arbete



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie

Delta, Campus Lindholmen

Opponent: Professor Mike Barnett, Southampton Solent University, UK

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