Fatigue and the psychosocial work environment in Danish ferry shipping

Introduction
Fatigue is reckoned as a severe problem in the shipping industry, though relatively few articles on fatigue within the maritime domain of the industry have been published since the 1980’s. On top, current research claims that fatigue among crew members constitute a health and safety hazard not just to the individual person but to the whole crew, the passengers and the ship. This hazard is exemplified by the fact that 6 out of 10 crew members state that their personal safety has been endangered due to fatigue, and estimates show that one third of all severe accidents are related to fatigue among crew members. Therefore, further research on fatigue and its determinants is needed.

Purpose
This project aims at surveying the level of and work environmental related factors for perceived fatigue among ferry ship employees. The investigation specifically focuses on the role of psychosocial factors, such as job demands, i.e. quantitative demand and work pace and job control, i.e. influence at work and possibility for development. Furthermore, also work-family conflict, i.e. work related demands interfering with family life and supervisor support, i.e. support from nearest superior are studied.

Method
Based on a project from Cardiff University outlining that fatigue is perceived as a severe problem among ferry crew members employed at an English ferry ship company, ferry ships is the main focus for this project. Two Danish ferry ship companies are engaged in the project, and the study is designed as a longitudinal survey with two points of measurement where data is collected using a questionnaire with standardised questions on fatigue and the work environmental factors under study.

The following institutions participate
Centre of Maritime Health and Society, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, DK
Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, DK
Scandlines, DK
Færgen, DK

Economy
The project is supported by the PNU contract budget.

Timeline
October 2013 – August 2017

Project group
Anja Leppin (main supervisor)1
Solveig Bøggild Dohrmann (PhD student)2
Jørgen Møller Christiansen (consultant) 2
Kimmo Herttua (assistant supervisor) 2

1 Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, DK
2 Centre of Maritime Health and Society, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, DK

Completion
The project is completed and defended 25th January 2018.

Download of PhD thesis without articles (PDF file)