CHIRP Maritime has announced the publication of the MARTHA Report, a three year study looking at the impact of fatigue on the wellbeing of seafarers in terms of mental health, motivation and safety. The study surveyed seafarers operating commercial ships, where the pressures of competitive schedules, reduced crew numbers and long periods away from home were found to be significant factors.
“Evidence from accident reports and research both point to the serious impact that sleepiness and fatigue may have on the safety and welfare of seafarers.” the study reports.
Building on the findings of an earlier study, project HORIZON, the MARTHA project looked more closely at the psycho-social effects of fatigue and found that for most crew, stress and fatigue increase as the voyage length increases, while motivation decreases. Captains were also shown to suffer more from stress and fatigue, particularly mental fatigue, compared to the rest of the crew.
The report also highlights the need for further research into the optimum tour of duty and optimum recovery times, and the effects of fatigue and stress on cognitive performance and psychological wellbeing.
Project MARTHA was a $3 million project sponsored by the TK Foundation conducted by a team of international researchers and industry professionals from 2013-2016. Partners included: Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton Solent University, the University of Southampton, the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, the University of Southern Denmark, Inter Manager and Dalian Maritime University.
You can download the full document here: The MARTHA Report.