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Improving operational safety during icebreaker operations
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Kalmar Maritime Academy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1223-1311
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Kalmar Maritime Academy. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2942-1584
2017 (English)In: WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs (JoMA), ISSN 1651-436X, E-ISSN 1654-1642, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 73-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study presented in this paper aims at investigating what safety measures that can be taken to improve the operational safety during icebreaker operations in the Baltic Sea. During icebreaker operations, the icebreaker and the assisted vessel operate in close proximity to each other, a distance which can be even smaller if weather and ice conditions are severe. This poses a severe threat to the operation, since the extremely short distance between the vessels leaves no room for error. The results, which are based on data collected through individual interviews and questionnaires, indicate several possible improvements. Firstly, on a regulatory level, the introduction of an ice navigation certificate for deck officers would set a minimal level of formal competency. Secondly, on a knowledge level, more ice navigation training and better language skills work in favour for the safety. Thirdly, on a technical level, having an electronic chart with target tracking capability increases the efficiency and safety of the passage through ice. In addition to these results, this study shows a need to further research the communication and language situation during icebreaker operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 16, no 1, p. 73-88
Keywords [en]
Icebreaker, Icebreaking, Ice navigation, Communication, SMCP, Safety
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Shipping, Maritime Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-56294DOI: 10.1007/s13437-016-0105-9ISI: 000412094500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85010700252OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-56294DiVA, id: diva2:957483
Available from: 2016-09-02 Created: 2016-09-02 Last updated: 2020-06-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Creating clarity and managing complexity through co-operation and communication: The case of Swedish icebreaker operations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating clarity and managing complexity through co-operation and communication: The case of Swedish icebreaker operations
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sea transportation is vital for the global economy, and the amount of seaborne trade is expected to increase in the future. In some areas, icebreakers are necessary for maintaining open shipping lanes all-year round and ensuring safe navigation. Vessels operating in ice are exposed to harsh environmental factors such as severe weather and heavy ice, and when external forces become too strong vessels will depend on icebreaker assistance. However, successful icebreaker operations require the icebreaker to operate in close vicinity to the assisted vessel to break the ice, which in turn increases the risk of collision.

There are many factors which make icebreaker operations complex. The aim of this thesis is to use work organization, operational safety, and interpersonal communication as three lenses to describe and analyse the complexity of icebreaker operations, and its implications for practice. To thoroughly investigate this complexity, data are drawn from numerous sources; semi-structured interviews, a questionnaire, and a substantial amount of recorded authentic communication all provide complementary insights.

The results show that the icebreaker performs a multitude of tasks directly concerned with icebreaking, e.g. directing and physically assisting other vessels, but that these tasks indirectly rely on interpersonal interaction and communication. A number of conflicting constraints add to the complexity. For example, harsh winter conditions impede vessels’ independent navigation in ice, while offering icebreaker crews opportunities to practice and maintain important skills. Furthermore, it was shown that language skills and communication play an important role in upholding the operational safety. However, closed-loop communication is not always used as intended, a deviation from intended communication protocol with potential to increase the risk of misunderstandings.

This thesis suggests that safety and efficiency of winter navigation can be enhanced by making better use of existing technology and data; by examining the past track of other vessels, e.g. via AIS, finding suitable ice tracks will be made easier. Another implication concerning communication is that training institutes should emphasize the logic behind standardized communication protocols rather than focusing on standard phrases, i.e. facilitating means for advanced English speakers to adapt their communication style. That way, novice and advanced speakers could find common ground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2020. p. 69
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 385/2020
Keywords
maritime safety, organization, human factors, closed-loop communication, Standard Marine Communication Phrases, misunderstanding, other-initiated repair
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Shipping, Maritime Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-95299 (URN)978-91-89081-63-5 (ISBN)978-91-89081-64-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-08-27, Ma135, Kalmar, 09:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-06-01 Created: 2020-06-01 Last updated: 2024-02-22Bibliographically approved

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