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The Fatigue Insider Blog

Amazing statistics on trucking crashes. Here they are.

Mar 18, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

It’s hard to imagine that the 3339 fatigue related crashes recorded by the Australian Roads & Maritime Service last year are more than double the amount of alcohol-related crashes.

While there should not be any alcohol-related crashes in a perfect world, the comparison does highlight how big a risk fatigue is – and the effect it is having on our roads.

Insurance industry figures show that 10% of truck accidents are caused by fatigue, and some say this is a conservative number given people can easily claim other causes (like "I swerved to miss a dog" or a cow or a moose depending on the location). 

There are some great industry tips by technology writer Ian Daniel in his article titled Fatigued drivers cramp fleet productivity and increase costs featured on the ABC website .

 

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Driving while distracted… an accident waiting to happen…

Mar 13, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

The Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety in Queensland has conducted some insightful research into driving while distracted – focusing on using mobile phones while driving.

Their research says that using a mobile phone while driving increases your risk of crashing four-fold...ouch!

Of particular interest is to read that distraction (including distraction due to fatigue) is a contributing factor to 71% of truck crashes.

It is a timely reminder of  the risks truck drivers, and all road users, face if they are driving distracted. Fatigue and distraction interact heavily and so both are critical to identify and manage. 

One driver monitoring solution from Seeing Machines, which is the Driver Safety System or DSS, has been specifically developed and validated to identify BOTH fatigue and distraction events. We are not aware of any other product in the market that can make that claim and back it up with operational data showing substantial reductions in crash risk and other safety measures. Watch this space...

For more information, contact us via  Facebook ,   LinkedIn ,   Twitter or comment below.

Join us in Singapore for our Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society event in March 2019 to find out more about sleep and fatigue management. Click here for tickets and more information.

We are running a December discount offering 25% off all tickets for our blog readers (with the exception of student tickets). Please use the promotion code FatigueInsider in the site (noting that the code is case sensitive and there is no space between the two words). Don’t forget to share the code with your friends and colleagues.


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Fatigue-affected police working second jobs?

Mar 10, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

It was interesting to come across an article on watoday.com.au that shows more than 300 Western Australian police officers are working second jobs to supplement their income.

While the article focuses on concerns such as conflict of interests with being a police officer, Ie. working in the horse racing industry, the article barely touches on the effect that fatigue could have because of longer working hours.

While there is obviously a concern about police driving while fatigued due to working a second job, there are more situations that need to be considered.

Will a police officer who has just finished his or her part-time shift and is now on the beat be able to think clearly in a situation that requires drawing their weapon? Will they even be easily able to have a difficult conversation with a colleague or member of the public in a sensitive, articulate and productive way?

There are some major issues here where fatigue could affect simple tasks, needless to say how it could affect more serious situations.

The costs of second jobs and even other responsibilities like parenting are often hidden from view. That is why fatigue has been called a 'silent killer'. While the solutions are obvious to my team and me, old habits die hard and it takes pro-active individuals and companies to reverse the tide. 

 
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This could be the easiest but most controversial change to increase productivity…

Mar 05, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

The idea that boosting productivity by starting the work day an hour later might be too radical for some senior managers to fathom.

But research out of America shows that people starting between 9 and 10am can gain as much 1.3 hours extra sleep compared to colleagues who start at 6am.

Well – those facts seem perfectly obvious. But the real benefits of a later start time can be seen in gained productivity, more alert workers (less work accidents) and happier staff (better job satisfaction – retaining qualified and trained staff).

And then there are external benefits such as decreasing the pressure on peak hour traffic, as well as allowing parents to drop children off at childcare and school. 

OK, so there are other factors to consider too, but what ideas might flow out if we think a bit bigger about the solutions for the challenges for workers in extended- and 24-hour industries?

The University of Pennsylvania conducted the study after researching the sleep habits of nearly 125,000 respondents, with this article featuring on news.com.au and The Huffington Post .


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Mining industry loses much more than brain cells due to alcohol abuse

Mar 03, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

As I’ve mentioned previously in the blog, the excessive use of alcohol onsite at mining operations is a recipe for disaster. This is not a theoretical ideology, but a view formed by seeing the sometimes disgusting and dangerous effects of alcohol use in mining camps. Just because someone can blow zero on a breath test the next morning does not mean they are not suffering a hangover and posing a danger to themselves and others. 

I’ve also read research that’s made me even more afraid of the impact of alcohol in work camps.

It’s a controversial stance as having a few beers after a hard day is ingrained in many work cultures. And, in fact, having one or two is unlikely to cause any issues for the majority of us. However, what happens when the norm is six, or 10?

But the consequences of alcohol and other drugs in the mining industry go much further than just being related to the work site, as can be seen in this article featured on news.com.au:

FIFO fed my addiction - an ex-employee tells all about drinking on the job

I’d like to ask: what are the societal, company, family and individual expectations that contribute to this sort of situation raised in the article and how do we address these concerns at the root cause?

Any suggestions or stories that you can share? Feel free to add to the comments section. 

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How to help keep employees safe after work

Feb 23, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

One thing I really love about my work is that not only do I get to contribute to workplace safety and productivity, there are also flow-on effects that positively impact the wider community.

Think of a transport business with trucks on the road - and how many other vehicles share that space. There are kids being picked up from school. Football teams are heading to the next town to play their arch rivals. Families are returning from holidays at the beach.

It’s not just the truck drivers on company time that need to contribute to road safety. Once a truck driver has parked up back at the depot, they need to be in a state so they can also safely drive their car or ride their motorbike home.

If we know that these drivers are being looked after on the clock and they are in good condition for the commute home, it’s easy to see the flow-on effects. It means that ambulance crews don’t have to deal with so many road accidents, emergency wards don’t have the added pressure of more patients and rehabilitation facilities can deal with other patients instead.

To take it one step further, if there is an accident, it’s easy to see what sort of costs this would have on the business emotionally, physically and financially.

When we remind ourselves that every working is a human being that lives as part of a community, instead of simply a resource unit to be used to its maximum output, many of us appreciate with crystal clear awareness what is ultimately productive, ethical and profitable. In the future such thinking will be common place, but right now very few of us are conceiving of the true web of impact that exists (with both positive and negative possibilities). 

Is your business thinking about the bigger picture in this way? 

What programs do you have in place to encourage employee safety beyond the work place?

How openly acknowledged is it that each worker is a member of the community inside the gates and in the wider world?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for your interest, Adam Fletcher

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Driverless technology – safety or suicide?

Feb 23, 2015 ISS Comments (0)

The reality of self-driving cars is not as far away as you might think. We already have cars with cruise control, emergency braking and self-parking technology.

Adding the next layers of technology to create driver-less cars is already being tried and tested by Google, Volvo, BMW/Baidu and others.

With new technology, there is also new concerns of how it is used - or abused - highlighted by The Conversation website with their article: 

Data mining the new black box of self-driving cars

The jury seems to be out on whether self-driving cars will create safer roads or could be responsible for causing a major disaster.

Our critical analysis of this exciting period in the automotive industry is that the most increased risks are not so much in the final product of automated technology, but in the transition from manual processes to automated systems.

To paint a simple picture, a manual job demands effort and concentration, whereas a semi-automated job requires less of both. So the semi-automated job can be more dangerous as there is less mental stimulation, lower engagement, and in simple terms it can create a greater likelihood of micro-sleeps. This is the dangerous transition period, as when the job becomes fully automated, there is no human involved who might suffer from fatigue.

It’s this transition period through to full automation for specific roles where Integrated Safety Support can help to implement fatigue prevention strategies at their source, and manage the increased risk exposures in proactive and appropriately reactive ways. The solutions look different on a control panel compared with a commercial vehicle, and different again in an aircraft cockpit to an air traffic operation. 

The solution is nearly here and very few companies are looking at the hump in the road before the promised benefits of automation actually arrive. Please share your thoughts below or with me directly via adam@integratedsafety.com.au

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