Aviation is a diverse industry and unlike most others in that it places unique operational demands on employees. Whether in general, commercial or military aviation, pilots must perform their duties whilst managing a range of different pressures.
Commercial pilots are required to fly long distances, which require them to cross multiple time zones over a short period of time. Such crossings can disrupt a pilot’s internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, making it very difficult to sleep. Long-distance flights also require pilots to work for a long period of time, often through the night. These hazards are compounded with smaller single-pilot operations, when the workload must be managed alone. Though it depends on the nature of the work, flights are often scheduled to commence or cease outside of daylight hours, which further compounds the difficulty for pilots trying to maintain a healthy sleep routine. Fatigue is a well-documented risk for pilots because of the challenges that aviation presents. Given that pilots are often responsible for the safety of many others and that small mistakes can have large consequences, it is crucial that fatigue be comprehensively managed.
We have successfully worked with regulators and providers to educate management teams, operational personnel and flight & cabin crew on the effects and risk treatments of fatigue.
Mining is a global industry, and one that continues to grow. However, it is also a volatile one. The past few years in particular have demonstrated how the market for metals and natural resources can ebb and flow. During any period though, peak or otherwise, the mining sector places unique stresses on its employees.
Mine locations are determined by resource deposits and are often found in remote areas. This requires employees to travel long distances or fly-in and fly-out (FIFO), which can be taxing over time. Alternatively, employees may temporarily base themselves on-site. In either case, they may work long, irregular, or consecutive shifts, often with heavy machinery to extract raw materials. Whilst on-site, employees are isolated from friends and family, and face obstacles when maintaining relationships. It is a demanding workplace environment by any definition. These factors can be hazardous to employees in different ways, though the most common concern is fatigue.
We have successfully worked with many mining companies to enhance their productivity through the implementation of effective fatigue management strategies, initiatives and solutions.
The oil and gas industry is one in which productivity is paramount. Drilling platforms are tremendously complex and expensive workplaces. They operate around the clock as organisations face increasing industry competition and demand for goods. This fosters an environment in which fatigue can quickly become a problem.
The non-stop nature of drilling requires employees to work long hours on shifts that extend through the evening and night. Much like other mining ventures, worksites are located in remote areas, requiring employees to cross multiple time zones to reach them. Often, employees must live on-site for a period of time and sleep in quarters that are unfamiliar. These factors make it difficult to achieve recuperative sleep. If employees cannot establish consistent sleep routines whilst on-site, work demands and sleeplessness quickly degrade their ability to perform competently. Fatigued employees not only pose a risk to their colleagues, but are estimated to cost organisations billions of dollars annually through accidents, absenteeism and lost production, in addition to the damage to reputation and environment through human error. In light of this, it is crucial that fatigue-related risks be managed adequately.
We have worked with many oil & gas providers and producers to enhance productivity through the effective management of fatigue.
It’s often said that the road transport industry is the backbone of a strong economic system. While this is certainly true, it also gives an indication as to the pressure that drivers and organisations face when managing an ongoing demands for goods.
Driver fatigue is a well-recognised risk in the road transport industry. There are many causative factors, though perhaps the most commonly discussed is work hours. Road transport is a highly competitive industry, and drivers are often to required long, consecutive hours in order to reach their destination on time. If delays occur whilst on-road, drivers cannot recover lost time by speeding and must spend more time driving instead. Long-haul drivers are often sole-operators and responsible for managing their workload alone, sleeping in truck cabs or temporary work quarters along the way. Of course, they must also maintain optimum performance without the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances. The tendency to drive sustained and irregular hours, keep to tight delivery schedules, and sleep away from home can cause fatigue to build over time. In addition, it can be difficult to maintain the healthy sleep and lifestyle habits that are needed to counter the challenges of road transport.
We have worked with many road transport regulators and providers to analyse rosters and shifts and provide education to help minimise the risks associated with fatigue.