6 & 6

I told y’all 8x16 is the best it’s an indisputable fact. Everything else is bullshit.

When I’ve had to stand that watch a nice box fan going in the corner of the room drowns out all the racket. Of course after all these years I’m deaf as a post anyways. When I take the hearing test in the booth thingie I get funny looks and I tell the lady yeah I know it’s bad. Then she says you’re hitting the button and I haven’t even started the test yet.

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[QUOTE=Earl Boebert;179304]I’m not a professional mariner, but I did read the report. It is based on a thing called the SAFTE/FAST model, a computer program that according to the people who sell it (it’s a commercial product)is based on first principles of brain chemistry and has been experimentally validated. You plug in a person’s sleep history and the model tells you how degraded their performance is in terms of equivalent blood alcohol level – the assumption being that being fatigued is like being drunk.

So if you believe the model, you believe the conclusion. If you don’t, you don’t. A lot of people believe in SAFTE/FAST, IMHO because it seems to be the only game in town. A lot of people don’t completely trust it, because the “validation” of the model has taken place in a laboratory setting and is not related to real-world accident/incident data. In other words, it should be possible to look at a bunch of accidents and near-misses and compare the theoretical impairment of crew given by the model against the actual impairment demonstrated by a casualty. This examination doesn’t seem to have happened.

(I put the word “validation” in quotes because I’ve done a lot of work with predictive mathematical models and believe firmly that they are never validated, only invalidated. You can have 1000 runs that correlate with observed data and that history tells you nothing about 1001st. Been there, done that, took the lumps :-))

Bottom line: lots of theory and hand-waving, little or no use of real-world data on impairment.

Cheers,

Earl[/QUOTE]

Earl,
The airline industry has over the years developed an excellent safety record as you well know. Does the passenger airline industry world wide accept that 6 on 6 off is acceptable? How do airline pilot work/rest rules compare to mariners?
tengineer

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;179320]I told y’all 8x16 is the best it’s an indisputable fact. Everything else is bullshit.[/QUOTE]

I doubt Inland push boat guys would prefer 8x16 over either 6x6 or 4x8. It’s too long at the sticks at a stretch.

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;179323]I doubt Inland push boat guys would prefer 8x16 over either 6x6 or 4x8. It’s too long at the sticks at a stretch.[/QUOTE]
Inland push boats are some of the highest stress jobs I have ever seen when the current is up or the traffic bad. They are some of the most underpaid mariners in the business. 4x8 is the maximum they should be allowed to work.
I am still waiting to hear who paid for this study that says 6x6 is just dandy. As the AWO is applauding it I suspect they or one of their minions did.

[QUOTE=tengineer1;179325]I am still waiting to hear who paid for this study that says 6x6 is just dandy.[/QUOTE]

All I read was the gCaptain article but all it mentioned was splitting rest periods, not specifically 6x6.

6/6 is ok, if you are on the 6-12.
12-6 is horrible…like its been mentioned, half the time you are getting woken up by the other crews inconsideration or for a drill or meeting or something…
I’ll take 12/12 anyday…even 1800-0600 over 12-6. At least with 12 hrs off you can have time to handle personal things and pop a unisom to get at least 5 solid hours.

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;179326]All I read was the gCaptain article but all it mentioned was splitting rest periods, not specifically 6x6.[/QUOTE]

I read PR newswire notices released by the AWO also concerning this “study”. I would wager the AWO or one of their shell outfits paid for the study and got the results they paid for. I would take this “study” with a grain of salt. The figures may support their finding but as we all know, figures don’t lie but liars figure.
Never before now have I seen a study purporting that being fully awake for 6 hours with only 6 hours sleep is good for the body much less for the mental well being of someone working such a schedule over a long period of time.
Even the USCG knows this and published the following.

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health recently conducted a study in which they collected data from a total of 185 Finnish Officers on Watch (OOW). Their analysis showed the following:
• Watchstanding officers, who stood the 6 on/6 off watch, regularly obtained less sleep and recovery than watchstanders who stood the 4 on/8 off;
• Watchstanders on the 6 on/6 off experienced greater amounts of sleepiness; and
• Watchstanders on the 6 on/6 off had the greatest problem with sleepiness during the period from 0400 to 0600, as opposed to other watches assessed.
These findings confirm the need for 7 to 8 continuous hours of sleep and, thus, the need to find alternatives to the 6 on / 6 off watch schedule. This study also supports the need to adapt crewmember physiology to work schedules to manage circadian effects on alertness and sleep efficiency. To learn more about this study, visit the following site:

Putting a mariner in a high stress job as is found on inland waterways is a recipe for continued disaster. They don’t have the greatest safety record now but it is always the pilot to blame.

This “study” is paid for BS to avoid proper manning being enacted.

[QUOTE=Earl Boebert;179304]I’m not a professional mariner, but I did read the report. It is based on a thing called the SAFTE/FAST model, a computer program that according to the people who sell it (it’s a commercial product)is based on first principles of brain chemistry and has been experimentally validated. You plug in a person’s sleep history and the model tells you how degraded their performance is in terms of equivalent blood alcohol level – the assumption being that being fatigued is like being drunk.

So if you believe the model, you believe the conclusion. If you don’t, you don’t. A lot of people believe in SAFTE/FAST, IMHO because it seems to be the only game in town. A lot of people don’t completely trust it, because the “validation” of the model has taken place in a laboratory setting and is not related to real-world accident/incident data. In other words, it should be possible to look at a bunch of accidents and near-misses and compare the theoretical impairment of crew given by the model against the actual impairment demonstrated by a casualty. This examination doesn’t seem to have happened.

(I put the word “validation” in quotes because I’ve done a lot of work with predictive mathematical models and believe firmly that they are never validated, only invalidated. You can have 1000 runs that correlate with observed data and that history tells you nothing about 1001st. Been there, done that, took the lumps :-))

Bottom line: lots of theory and hand-waving, little or no use of real-world data on impairment.

Cheers,

Earl[/QUOTE]

Different people are affected differently by different work/rest schedules.

6/6 is much much better for me than 12/12. Especially when I am called out for a couple extra hours at the beginning or end of a watch.

I know people that swear by 8/8 & 4/4. I’m going to try it.

The companies only care about one factor — cost. All the safety talk is window dressing.

The same boats that we ran in the 80’s with 8 men now have 4 men. It’s cheaper. Adjusted for real inflation we make less now than we did 30 years ago. The companies are saving a fortune in labor costs.

My dad worked 12-6 am/12-6 pm for years and I remember him being very exhausted and having problems with sleeping when he was at home. The ship was a 550’ ITB with a crew of 9. I used to spend my summers on the ship when I was younger, and was often at the bridge at night to keep company to the lone watch officer. After the following incident with the sister ship, I remember the company changing their policy in such way that the deck worker who had the night watch would, by default, stay on the bridge as a lookout.

The pusher barge combination STEEL–BOARD grounded on January 1, 2002 at the Kvarken en route from Vysotskij, Russia to Raahe, Finland. The chief officer being the Officer On Watch had fallen asleep and did not conduct the course change according the route plan in Nordvalen. He was alone in the bridge because he had relieved the look out to other work onboard. The investigation tried to find out the factors, which can be identified to cause such performance impairment that led the OOW make his decision to work alone and why he fell asleep. The investigators do not make any recommendations on this case. AIB Finland will later publish a safety study on numerous accidents at sea in which the main contributing factor has been the fatigue of the OOW.

It should be noted that the grounding happened at 07:18 am. The OOW had carried out the previous course change at 06:48 am but missed the one only four minutes later. He had slept 3-3.5 hours before the watch. However, at that time it was standard practice that there would be just one person on the bridge during normal operations, so I doubt the OOW’s decision to work alone was due to fatigue. Of course, because of fatigue, he might have not realized that he was about to fall asleep and that he should have not sent the deckhand work elsewhere…

What is also frequently mistaken: 6 & 6 watches guarantee 6 hours of watch duties, not 6 hours of sleep after. It’s impossible to get much more than 5 hours (+/- a few minutes) of consecutive sleep under even the best of conditions on 6 & 6’s.

The new “study” leans very heavily on the idea that getting your daily rest broken into 2 periods, 1 of which, as mentioned above, can’t be longer than 5 hours due to practical limits of time (which is s.o.p. for most of the towing industry), essentially has no downside even worth considering, let alone changing anything.

Self-serving bullshit or not, though, the report should be read in full before it’s criticized.

I did the 6 & 6 for a short while on dredges. I thought it sucked. I don’t know how people do it. I am currently on a ship with short runs and we work straight 8’s. I have the 16-2400. Get up about 10 every morning and do the OT. I have time for sleep, showers, laundry, meals. Everything but going ashore.

[QUOTE=tengineer1;179322]Earl,
The airline industry has over the years developed an excellent safety record as you well know. Does the passenger airline industry world wide accept that 6 on 6 off is acceptable? How do airline pilot work/rest rules compare to mariners?
tengineer[/QUOTE]

The January 2014 rules (14 CFR 91.1059) are 10 hours minimum between flights and 12 if flight is multi-time zone for passenger flights. IIRC, it used to be 8 hours, so they are going in the opposite direction.

Cheers,

Earl

[QUOTE=Earl Boebert;179355]The January 2014 rules (14 CFR 91.1059) are 10 hours minimum between flights and 12 if flight is multi-time zone for passenger flights. IIRC, it used to be 8 hours, so they are going in the opposite direction.

Cheers,

Earl[/QUOTE]

ISM paperwork does not cost much. They don’t pay us extra for doing it either on watch or off. Two people in the office can handle the paperwork from 50 boats. It does not cost much. It’s also of relatively little actual safety value.

Real safety costs real money— larger crew sizes, good electronics, quieter and more comfortable crew quarters and work spaces, good firefighting gear, good life boats, rescue boats, etc.

Crew are one of the largest costs. The easiest way for an owner to save or make money is to reduce crew size.

Owners, especially in a public company, do not care about safety or crew fatigue, they just care about profits.

The Manilla amendments have been interesting to put into practice. From my experience in undergoing port state inspections in the Paris MOU they couldn’t care less if you’re actually rested, but much more so on whether your rest logs are properly filled out. I won’t get started on my detest for the focus on paperwork when it comes to ISM. I’ve always worked a traditional deep sea 4 and 8 schedule with the occasionally brief switch to a 6 and 6 to free up the Chief Mate during a busy coastwise.

I agree with the prevailing sentiment on this thread. It all comes down to money. If they truly wanted a well rested crew they would increase manning so we could always keep a fully rested officer and AB at the ready to stand that (all so important to the Manilla Ammendment rules) first watch leaving port.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;179357]ISM paperwork does not cost much. They don’t pay us extra for doing it either on watch or off. Two people in the office can handle the paperwork from 50 boats. It does not cost much. It’s also of relatively little actual safety value.

Real safety costs real money— larger crew sizes, good electronics, quieter and more comfortable crew quarters and work spaces, good firefighting gear, good life boats, rescue boats, etc.

Crew are one of the largest costs. The easiest way for an owner to save or make money is to reduce crew size.

Owners, especially in a public company, do not care about safety or crew fatigue, they just care about profits.[/QUOTE]

What I was told when I sailed for a ship management company is that crew costs are the one thing that they can control. Fuel was one of the biggest and it fluctuated. Ironically, that was the very same company that gave me an extra engineer so we could get away from 6x6/12x12 (my option and I liked neither very well since, as Chief, I had lots of things to do off watch, too). I found that 4x8 worked the best for me and I stood the 8-12. Worked on the barge some or other places as needed a bit in the afternoon. . time for a nap and my second watch of the day. . . a life of leisure. . . .

The Project Horizon research did a comparison between 6/6 and 4/8 watch schedules and they concluded that 4/8 is the better of the two. Unfortunately they did not investigate the 12/12 watch schedule.
I have worked all three systems and I found that 4/8 is the best for the single bridge watch but prefer 12/12 for the 2 man on watch system.

project horizon: http://www.warsashacademy.co.uk/about/our-expertise/maritime-research-centre/horizon-project/about-horizon.aspx
Also check the Martha planning tool to prevent fatigue.

Put simply, Look carefully at the organization that paid for the study, American Waterways Operators. They are our employers! Does anyone believe they are more concerned with healthy rest hours for their employee’s over their own bottom line? If you have enough money, you can hire a professor or two from academia to conduct research and comment on any subject you wish. You only have to remind your employee-professors who is paying them to influence their “scientific findings” in their report.

The Billionaire Koch Brothers refined this subtle but very effective manipulation of the masses to an art form. See “Citizens United” which gave birth to corporations as people. Albeit a special class of people who pay less or no taxes to the US Government. When the good state of Texas executes a corporation is when I would believe that corporations are people!

The unions, MMP Inland, SIU, IBU, etc. should be commissioning their own academics to do a study, and peer reviews on the other studies, on this 6/6 schedule issue for presentation to the USCG. The unions that are supposed to represent organized Mariners do not do their job.

I’ll say it before someone else does. When the unions don’t do their job, I cannot ride their coattails for free.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;179436]The unions, MMP Inland, SIU, IBU, etc. should be commissioning their own academics to do a study, and peer reviews on the other studies, on this 6/6 schedule issue for presentation to the USCG. The unions that are supposed to represent organized Mariners do not do their job.

I’ll say it before someone else does. When the unions don’t do their job, I cannot ride their coattails for free.[/QUOTE]

Not only do some folks like 6/6, from what we’ve seen from this thread and others, but some companies and unions must like it too.

Come to think of it, the handful of union jobs I had specified 6/6 in the contract.