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The Fatigue Insider Blog

Can Fatigue Monitoring Technology Boost Heavy Vehicle Safety?

Jul 31, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Driver fatigue and distraction are still significant factors in heavy vehicle crashes. Recent industry data suggests that one in ten heavy vehicle crashes results from heavy vehicle driver fatigue.
 
Recognising that innovative solutions are necessary to combat this problem, The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is undertaking a trial of fatigue safety-related technologies to gain a greater understanding of how they work and are used.
 
The preliminary review of Fatigue/Distraction Detection Technology, released this month, has shown that the technology has the potential to boost heavy vehicle safety, but should be used as part of a Fatigue Risk Management System and not in isolation. Technologies used included fitness for duty tests, continuous operator monitoring, performance-based monitoring, and vehicle-related technologies.

The summary of preliminary report is available here, and we look forward to their final conclusions in June 2020!

 

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Burnout and Fast-Food workers: How is Shift Work Contributing to Fatigue?

Jul 24, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

With the discussion of burnout growing, it's not surprising that fast-food workers are among those facing increased stress and fatigue due to their jobs.

Emily Guendelsberger, author of On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane, recently wrote an article for Vox illuminating some of the new pressures that fast-food workers face; among them being scheduling and understaffing practices that contribute to a highly stressful and sometimes dangerous work environment.
 
Algorithms that use recent sales data to predict how much business to expect every hour of the week often determine worker’s schedules. This means that not only are workers’ schedules different week to week, but they may not receive a schedule until a day before it goes into effect. Guendelsberger also highlights scheduling practices like the “clopen”, where workers have back-to-back shifts closing late and opening early the next morning with only a few hours to sleep in between.
 
We know that rotating shift workers often experience a myriad of fatigue-related health and productivity issues. When these are combined with consistent understaffing and a stressful work environment, it not only creates a situation ripe for workplace accidents but also undermines the dignity of work.
 
While it may be impossible to eliminate shift work in the fast-food industry, encouraging the major players to develop fatigue management strategies that would improve the wellbeing of their employees would be the first step in decreasing burnout in fast-food workers.

 

 

 

 

 

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What is blue light?

Apr 03, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Blue light is the higher energy, shorter wavelengths on the visible light spectrum. It occurs naturally, with the highest levels occurring during the middle of the day. Blue light is also emitted from devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers, and white-coloured LED lights.


 

So if it occurs naturally, blue light can't be that bad for us, right? Blue light is necessary to set and regulate our circadian rhythm, which is done so by photoreceptor cells in our eyes. Therefore, exposure to blue light during daytime hours is certainly a positive. We can also use exposure to blue light in the morning to advance our circadian rhythm, helping those who want to move their sleep to an earlier time - a great way to avoid jet lag!

But too much blue light exposure from our devices later on in the day and throughout the night can delay and disrupt our circadian rhythm, causing sleep disruptions and potential fatigue. Exposure to bright daylight outside may reduce the sensitivity of the circadian system to light exposure at night, but we still recommend to put your devices down before heading to bed, and perhaps relaxing with some tunes or a good book!

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

 

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Is your clock running on time?

Mar 20, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Here at ISS, we’re often on the road seeing clients. One thing we always pack is our exercise gear. Squeezing in a daily workout is a top priority, especially if we are overseas. We feel it helps with counteracting any jet lag we may have. And now, we have research to back us up!

A recent study has found that exercise can shift our circadian rhythm, with the direction and amount of this effect depending on the time of day or night in which we exercise.

The study involved examining exercise and melatonin levels in 101 participants for up to five and a half days. It was found that exercising at 0700 or between 1300 & 1600 advanced the body clock to an earlier time, and exercising between 1900 & 2200 delayed the body clock to a later time.

So if you’re looking to help minimise your jet lag, or even get yourself back in sync after a block of shift, get those running shoes on at those specified times!

 

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


 

 

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Is fatigue costing your business?

Mar 06, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

 

Fatigue can be a hidden risk in the workplace, costing businesses millions of dollars a year. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, it is estimated that 7.4 million Australian adults do not regularly get the sleep they need, resulting in productivity losses of $17.9 billion.

Lack of sleep significantly reduces productivity within the workplace through absenteeism, presenteeism and decreased engagement. This also increases the risk of errors and injury in the workplace.

Fatigue can impact those who:

  • Sleep fewer hours than recommended (due to work and/or personal factors)
  • Shift work
  • Frequently work extended hours
  • Travel for work
  • Work multiple jobs

Things you can do to reduce the likelihood of fatigue in the workplace include:

For more information on fatigue in the workplace, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 


 

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Don't go breakin' my heart!

Feb 13, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

 

A recent study has demonstrated a relationship between sleep and subclinical atherosclerosis – the early stages of hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

The study showed that those who slept for less than six hours a night were 27 per cent more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis than those who slept for an average of seven or eight hours a night. Disturbed and fragmented sleep also increased the risk of subclinical atherosclerosis by 34 per cent. Interestingly, those who sleep more than 8 hours a night also have an increased risk.

People who sleep less than seven hours a night also have an increased risk of heart disease, and this is true regardless of other factors that influence heart health, like age, weight, smoking and exercise habits

Not sleeping enough can also increase heart-related issues such as blood pressure and obesity.

For more information on sleep and heart health, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 


 

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Mental health & sleep

Jan 30, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

There is a close relationship between mental health and sleep. Poor sleep can be both a symptom and a cause of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Therefore living with a mental health condition can affect the quality and quantity of sleep, which in turn can have a negative impact on your mental health.

The vicious cycle of lack of sleep leads to one being tired throughout the day, making it difficult to cope with day-to-day life. The inability to cope lowers one’s self-esteem, increasing stress and again leading to lack of sleep.

Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, are often experienced by those suffering from mental health conditions. Insomniacs sleep less overall and do not spend adequate time in the deeper parts of sleep, including REM. The REM stage of sleep is a restorative part of our sleep cycle, providing emotional and cognitive benefits. REM sleep allows us to regulate our emotions, maintain our memory capability and make good judgments. Without REM sleep, we tend to be moodier & irrational, suffer from memory lapses and are more inclined to make poor decisions. It’s easy to see how important REM sleep is, particularly for those suffering from mental health conditions.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are a type of medication that is most commonly used to combat depression and anxiety and essentially increase serotonin in the brain. A recent study on those who take SSRIs has shown that the medication is more effective on people who are early risers compared to night owls. It is believed that night owls tend to have more irregular schedules and are also exposed to less light in the morning and more in the evening, resulting in out of sync circadian rhythms. SSRIs boost how the body clock responds to light. Therefore, irregular schedules and light exposure would make SSRIs less effective. Along with seeking professional medical support and making lifestyle changes, we would suggest ensuring morning natural light exposure where possible, as well as keeping a more consistent schedule where possible.

If you are suffering from sleep disorders and mental health issues, do not hesitate to see your doctor. For more information, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 

 

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