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Breaking the ice: a work domain analysis of icebreaker operations
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Kalmar Maritime Academy.
2018 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 443-456Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Icebreakers are special-purpose ships designed to operate in different ice-covered waters, either independently or duringassistance of weaker ships. In the Baltic Sea, as well as elsewhere, they are essential for maintaining continuous sea transportservices during wintertime. Icebreaker operations are complex, and every situation in which a vessel requires assistanceis unique, due to, e.g. changing ice and weather conditions, geographical location or language proficiency of the crew onboard the icebreaker or assisted vessel. The icebreaker crew has considerable freedom to adapt to each situation, yet, forsafe operations, there are constraints to which the crew has to conform. The study presented in this paper aims at identifyingthe constraints on nautical officers on board icebreakers during operations, as well as special situations that increasecognitive load. A work domain analysis based on a group interview with nautical icebreaker officers shows the multitudeof tasks performed on board icebreakers. Furthermore, it identifies constraints specific to icebreaker operations such as iceassessment and direct icebreaking, but also generic constraints such as language and communication skills. At times, safetyand efficiency come into conflict, resulting in a trade-off between the two. When that happens, safety gets priority, and theoperation stops until the situation has been evaluated. In addition, several situations that increase cognitive load are identified,with the common denominator that they add elements of uncertainty, e.g. severe weather and technical malfunctions.Finally, further research within the area of icebreaker operations is recommended, with a continued focus on the systemconstraints, and their potential for system improvement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 20, no 3, p. 443-456
Keywords [en]
Maritime, Constraint, Theory of constraints, Cognitive load, Socio-technical system, Communication
National Category
Work Sciences Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Shipping, Maritime Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-73755DOI: 10.1007/s10111-018-0482-2ISI: 000439906300009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-73755DiVA, id: diva2:1202783
Available from: 2018-04-30 Created: 2018-04-30 Last updated: 2018-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Boström, Magnus

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf