TASCS – A new base for crew manning regulation in European inland water transport

14/10/2019 - The actual crew manning regulation for European Inland navigation is not up to date any more. Besides there are large differences in member states. The innovations in (ship) technology, the new working time directive, the European harmonized crew competences and changing labour market are asking for a change in crew manning regulation.

Intergo developed a new crew manning instrument based on workload assessments for calculating the minimum needed amount and type of crew competences on board in the European interconnected waterways, together with research partner DST (Duisburg) and professor Turnbull (Bristol). The TASCS project (Towards A Sustainable Crewing System) for the social partners in European inland navigation represented by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), European Skippers’ Organisation (ESO) and the European Barge Union (EBU) was supported by the European Commision.

Inland navigation is nowadays balancing between economic attractive business models and safety to perform all tasks on board. The core of the TASCS tool exists from the characteristics of the journey to be made and the accompanying human tasks on board with respect to the total process of transport.
The tool involves: 

  • type of cargo (e.g. dry or liquid bulk, containers, passengers, etc.);
  • vessels and their technical equipment (level of automation, c.f. the actual S1/ S2);
  • tasks of the crew;
  • infrastructure of the waterway and traffic conditions (e.g. locks, intensity of traffic); 
  • business model implying that some processes like maintenance or entrepreneuring could be outsourced;
  • characteristics and procedures of ports and terminals;
  • commuting to and from the vessel during change of crew.

The instrument respects the new working time directive.

During working visits to different representative types of vessels all over Europe assessments have been made of all tasks on board and their characteristics like the accompanying workload. These assessments are the base for TASCS combined with effects of (non) technological developments in the future. The results are processed into a web based tool. The crew manning plan is to be established per journey, based on the activities on board as a result of the type of cargo and journey characteristics. The result of the calculation is the minimal net crew manning hours per competence for that journey. Additionally gross allowances have to be determined as for e.g. unexperienced crew, special evacuation requirements or fatigue management measures for healthy shifts. 

The ambition of the European social partners is to come to a simple, transparent, flexible and easy to use instrument for crew manning. The complete report is available.

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