Motions and crew responses on an offshore oil production and storage vessel

Appl Ergon. 2009 Sep;40(5):904-14. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Feb 8.


The motions of vessels may interfere with crew activities and well-being, but the relationships between motion and the experiences of crew are not well-established. Crew responses to motions of a floating production and storage offshore vessel at a fixed location in the North Sea were studied over a 5-month period to identify any changes in crew difficulties and symptoms associated with changes in vessel motion. Ship motions in all six axes (fore-aft, lateral, vertical, roll, pitch, and yaw) were recorded continuously over the 5-month period while 47 crew completed a total of 1704 daily diary entries, a participation rate of 66-78% of the crew complement. The dominant oscillations had frequencies of around 0.1 Hz, producing magnitudes of translational oscillation in accommodation areas of up to about 0.7 ms(-2)r.m.s., depending on the weather, and magnitudes up to three times greater in some other areas. The daily diaries gave ratings of difficulties with tasks, effort level, motion sickness, health symptoms, fatigue, and sleep. Problems most strongly associated with vessel motions were difficulties with physical tasks (balancing, moving and carrying), and sleep problems. Physical and mental tiredness, cognitive aspects of task performance, and stomach awareness and dizziness were also strongly associated with motion magnitude. There was a vomiting incidence of 3.1%, compared with a predicted mean vomiting incidence of 9.3% for a mixed population of unadapted adults. It is concluded that crew difficulties increase on days when vessel motions increase, with some activities and responses particularly influenced by vessel motions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Ergonomics*
  • Fuel Oils*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion Sickness / epidemiology*
  • Motion Sickness / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Posture*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ships*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Fuel Oils