Title: A structural equation analysis of vessel traffic controllers' fatigue factors

Authors: Jin-Ru Yen; Yu-Ying Wang; Chih-Ching Chang; Chao-Yang Chang

Addresses: Department of Shipping and Transportation Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan ' Department of Shipping and Transportation Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan ' Department of Shipping and Transportation Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan ' Department of Shipping and Transportation Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan

Abstract: Vessel traffic controllers work around the clock in order to fulfil the needs of international shipping traffic in each harbour. Due to their special work arrangement, shift work could have serious consequences on their health. Fatigue is one of them and could affect the outcome of the controller's work. For management to better schedule the controller's tasks, factors that have a bearing on the controller's fatigue need to be investigated. A structural equation model was carried out to conduct a path analysis. The relationship among physical fatigue (PF) and mental fatigue (MF), before and after work shifts, was then identified. The results show that sleeping quality has direct influences on the controller's fatigue before duty, either PF or MF. In addition, PF after shifts is influenced by sleeping quality, working environment, workload, PF before shifts, and MF after shifts. The MF after shifts is mainly affected by sleeping quality, workload and MF before shifts. The results indicate that workload and sleeping quality bear strong relations to the causes of fatigue. These findings are useful for management to reduce the level of controllers' fatigue and to improve harbour safety.

Keywords: controller fatigue; vessel traffic controllers; VTC; structural equation modelling; SEM; shift work; task scheduling; physical fatigue; mental fatigue; sleep quality; working environment; workload; harbour safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2016.077309

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2016 Vol.8 No.4, pp.442 - 455

Available online: 07 Jun 2016 *

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