Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Impact of Bridge Alerts on Navigating Officers

  • Lovro Maglić (a1) and Damir Zec (a1)


New navigation-related technologies and complex ships' systems are associated with a considerable amount of information and alerts on navigational bridges. Each alert triggers a process conducted by the Officer Of the Watch (OOW), which includes data collection and interpretation, decision making, as well as appropriate actions. In the case of too many alerts or poorly managed alerts, the workload of the OOW may significantly increase, and situational awareness may be compromised, increasing the risk of errors. The main goal of this research is to analyse OOW actions triggered by the alerts. The research methods included an experiment on a bridge simulator with experienced officers, a questionnaire survey and a series of interviews. The main outcomes encompass the frequency of the alerts and the number and the processing times of single actions conducted upon an alert. The results indicate that, on average, during one watch, an OOW spends 22·4 minutes conducting 64 actions triggered by 16 alerts. However, officers consider 45% of the alerts as over-prioritised and distracting at the moment of their notification.


Corresponding author



Hide All
Baldauf, M., Benedict, K., Wilske, E., Grundevik, P. and Klepsvik, J.O. (2008). Combination of Navigational and VDR based Information to Enhance Alert Management. International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, 2(3), 245251.
Crowch, T. (2013). Navigating the Human Element. Kent, United Kingdom. MLB Publishing.
Dhillon, B.S. (2007). Human Reliability and Error in Transportation Systems. London, UK. Springer-Verlag.
Earthy, J. (2006). Raising the alarm. Horizons, 15, 1011.
Embrey, D. (2006). Development of a Human Cognitive Workload Assessment Tool. Human Reliability Associates, Dalton Lancashire, MCA Final Report.
Furuno Electric. (2010). Operator's Manual, Electronic Chart Display and Information System - Instructions for use with Autopilots. Furuno Electric.
Goel, P., Datta, A. and Mannan, M.S. (2017). Industrial alarm systems: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 50(A), 2336.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2003). Issues to be considered when introducing new technology on board ship. MSC/Circ.1091. London, International Maritime Organization.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2007). Adoption of the revised performance standards for integrated navigation systems (INS). MSC.252(83). London, International Maritime Organization.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2009). Code on Alerts and Indicators. Resolution A.1021(26). London, International Maritime Organization.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2010). Adoption of performance standards for bridge alert management (BAM). Resolution MSC.302(87). London, International Maritime Organization.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). (2013). Development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan. NAV 59/6. London, International Maritime Organization.
Kongsberg Maritime. (2014). K-Sim, ERS L11 5L90MC – VLCC, Version MC90-V, Operator's Manual. Kongsberg Maritime.
Kongsberg Norcontrol. (1997). Cargo Handling Trainer CHT2000-VLCC-II, User's Manual. Kongsberg Norcontrol AS.
Krystosik-Gromadzińska, A. (2018). Ergonomic assessment of selected workstations on a merchant ship. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 24(1), 9199.
Kum, S., Furusho, M., Duru, O. and Satir, T. (2007). Mental Workload of the VTS Operators by Utilising Heart Rate. TransNav, International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, 1(2), 145151.
Maglić, L., Zec, D. and Frančić, V. (2016). Model of the Adaptive Information System on a Navigational Bridge. The Journal of Navigation, 69(6), 12471260.
Mišković, D., Bielić, T. and Čulin, J. (2018). Impact of Technology on Safety as Viewed by Ship Operators. Transactions on Maritime Science, 7(1), 5158.
Motz, F., Hockel, S., Baldauf, M. and Benedict, K. (2009). Development of a Concept for Bridge Alert Management. International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, 3(1), 6166.
Nachreiner, F., Nickel, P. and Meyer, I. (2006). Human factors in process control systems: The design of human–machine interfaces. Safety Science, 44(1), 526.
Øvergård, K. I. (2015). Human Error: Causality and the Confusion of Normative and Descriptive Accounts of Human Performance. In Fostervold, K. I., Johnsen, S. Å. K., Rydstedt, L. and Watten, R. G. (Eds.), Creating Sustainable Work Environments. Lysaker, Norway: Norwegian Society for Ergonomics and Human Factors, C5-6–C5-10.
Rothblum, A. R., Wheal, D., Withington, S., Shappell, S. A., Wiegman, D. A., Boehm, W. and Chaderijan, M. (2002). Human Factors in Incident Investigation and analysis. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Human Factors in Offshore Operations (HFW2002). Groton, CT: U.S. Coast Guard Research & Development Center.
Rowley, I. (2006). Development of guidance for the mitigation of human error in automated ship-borne maritime systems. Project Report RP545 MSA10/9/210 for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Qinetiq.
Transas MIP (2012). Multi-functional display (version 2.00.320), ECDIS User Manual. Transas MIP ltd.
Transas MIP (2012). Navi-Trainer 5000 (version 5.25), Navigational Bridge. Transas MIP ltd.
Tzannatos, E. S. (2004). GMDSS False Alerts: A Persistent Problem for the Safety of Navigation at Sea. The Journal of Navigation, 57(1), 153159.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed