Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Maritime College jointly hosted Ergoship 2016, a maritime human factors conference with the theme ‘Shaping shipping for people’.  The conference was held on 6-7 April 2016 at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto in Melbourne, Australia.

The aim of Ergoship 2016 was to provide a national and international forum for the dissemination and exchange of applied scientific knowledge in the field of human factors within a maritime context.  The program included a variety of high-calibre national and international speakers who presented on a range of human factors topics including safety culture, fatigue risk management, seafarer health and wellbeing, human-technology interaction and designing maritime systems for user needs. In addition, the conference featured expert panel discussions focused on fatigue management and the role of operators in highly automated systems.


AMCS consultant, Capt. Richard Dunham spoke on “The use of Bridge Simulators for Marine Incident Investigation”, and looked at the results that can be obtained from such investigations. Richard noted that the Bridge Simulator can be used for two purposes within an investigation, namely re-creating the incident to observe the situation developing as seen by the Officer of the Watch, and secondly using the Simulator to review alternative actions. Richard pointed out that while the Simulator is an excellent tool for investigation purposes, there are some limitations to the results. These are mainly due to real-world limitations such as recreating the organisational culture on board, replicating supervision issues and personal dynamics. Richard concluded his presentation by saying that if the use of simulation for accident investigation acknowledges the limitations then the likelihood of drawing appropriate conclusions increases significantly.