A new concept from FORCE Technology is set to change the way ships are manned. The concept is called Safe_manning and is a function-based approach to manning of ships.

In order for a ship to be profitable, every procedure and function on board must work as efficiently as possible. Today, manning procedures focus on ship size, type, engine etc rather than function, thereby failing to use the full extent of the on board working capacity. This approach is now being contested by the Danish Maritime Authorities, Technical University of Denmark and FORCE Technology. Instead of the usual scale manning concept, the Safe_manning concept is based on defining the tasks for each member of the crew necessary to operate a ship in a safe and efficient way - and, of course, according to the STWC rules. 

Many names, but only one concept

Even though Safe_manning is a relatively new concept, it has a lot of well-known synonyms such as safe crewing, ship crewing, crew simulation, crew estimation and safety crew, just to mention a few. Whatever you prefer to call the concept, the content is the same: Estimation of the necessary crew on board a commercial ship. 

Safe_manning and good economy 

Safe_manning is an online and world-wide accessible crew estimation tool to optimize the use of the crew’s capabilities, thereby offering shipowners, operators, crewing companies, ship brokers and unions a clear picture of the work force needed on a given ship. 

By defining the tasks on board, the qualifications needed to solve the tasks and the period in which the tasks are due to be done, the software provides you with an overview of the workload of the different functions on board for the duration of the trip. 

The result of using the Safe_manning concept is a more efficient use of the crew without violating the rest rules and providing the possibility of breaking the traditional (inefficient) patterns of who is doing what on board by letting the best qualified persons solve specific tasks. 

The software tool developed in the project can also be used as a planning tool by estimating crew size through an optimized workload per crew member. 

The concept operates with 6 elements: 

1. Ship schedule - which describes a cycle of port calls and open sea transits between ports 

2. Task requirements - where the user defines a list of tasks that are needed to operate the ship 

3. Rest rules - which is pre-defined and included in the simulation software 

4. Resource (crew) competence - when defining each crew member, you define which tasks he/she is competent to solve 

5. Resource state - the software keeps track of each crew member’s ability to work in relation to the rest rules 

6. Environment conditions - the user can define weather conditions that e.g. require a look out on the bridge 

Main features 

  • Optimizing of necessary crew for a specific ship
  • Planning of work on board 

Your input defines 

  • Tasks on board (with several attributes) 
  • Phases: E.g. port, at sea, departure and arrival 
  • Ship schedule (made up by one or several phases) 
  • Crew
  • Crew qualifications 

Safe_manning output

  • Rest rule violation for each crew member 
  • Workload per crew member 
  • Detailed list of all tasks per crew member  

Safe_manning is developed to estimate the needed number of crew in order to run the ship efficiently and in accordance with STCW rules.