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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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Fatigue Risk Management in EMS

Oct 31, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Fatigue continues to be a widespread problem for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Both mental and physical fatigue can affect EMS personnel, due to the intensity of the job and working shifts, which we know disrupts normal patterns of sleep and circadian rhythms. Studies have found significantly higher levels of fatigue and mental health issues amongst paramedics, as well as significantly poorer sleep quality compared to other industries.

Near misses and accidents involving EMS personnel, where fatigue was a contributing factor, continue to occur. Earlier this year, an Emergency Medical Technician in the USA was killed when the technician driving the ambulance fell asleep at the wheel, colliding into another vehicle.

Evidence-based Guidelines for Fatigue Risk Management in EMS were recently published in the Prehospital Emergency Care journal recommend:

  • The use of fatigue surveys to measure and monitor fatigue in EMS personnel
  • Shifts to be shorter than 24 hours in duration
  • Access to caffeine as a fatigue countermeasure
  • The opportunity to nap while on duty in order to mitigate fatigue
  • Education and training on fatigue-related risks
 
The guidelines also remind us that fatigue management is a shared responsibility between EMS personnel and employers.

For more information on fatigue risk management in EMS, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.


 
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Driver fatigue - it's not all about microsleeps

Oct 17, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

A lot of us have been fatigued behind the wheel and battled to keep our focus on the road. We've relied on the usual tactics to try to keep ourselves awake including winding the windows down and belting out our best rendition of Madonna as it's blaring through the speakers (ok, maybe just some of us!). Nodding off, or experiencing microsleeps, is really the worst case scenario. But being fatigued while driving can be enough to impair you alone, without actually experiencing a microsleep. 

Someone who is fatigued will often experience slower reaction times, reduced ability to concentrate and delays in interpreting information. Driving in this state could easily result in a traffic incident or accident. 

The human body will naturally cycle through intervals of sleepiness and alertness, better known as the circadian rhythm. The window of circadian low (WOCL) is a period between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. for those adapted to a usual day-wake/night-sleep schedule. During the WOCL, a reduction in physical & mental performance, alertness and body temperature. We also experience a low in the circadian rhythm in the afternoon, known as the postprandial dip, commonly referred to as the post-lunch dip or siesta time. According to the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Transport, fatigue-related fatal and serious injury crashes peak during the WOCL and postprandial dip.

To avoid driver fatigue, we recommend to:

  • Avoid driving during periods when you would normally asleep
  • Allow yourself some time to wake up from your sleep before driving
  • Share the driving where possible
  • Plan breaks every 2 hours when driving for long periods of time
  • Have a coffee nap (read our previous blog post here)

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


 


 

 

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Fighting fatigue

Aug 28, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

The national defence research agency of Singapore, DSO National Laboratories (DSO) have been busy developing a driver fatigue system. The system monitors fatigue by using an eye tracker and EEG (Electroencephalography) to detect sleep spindles - the sudden bursts of oscillatory brain activity that occurs when you are sleepy. It intervenes 10 minutes before a driver falls asleep by vibrating on the zygomatic area of the head, which has a direct connection to the part of the brain that wakes one up.

The technology was developed to help keep defence personnel safe when driving long distances in training. However, it can also be applied in other 24-hour industries.  


Frederick Tey, Program Manager from the DSO National Laboratories “A lot of times we think that we can probably try and go that extra mile, but the moment you go into microsleep, that very split second, you could end up in an accident”. For more on the work from Frederick Tey, click here.

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

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Introducing FatigueSafe

Aug 01, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Integrated Safety Support is excited to announce the launch of our new app – FatigueSafe!

The FatigueSafe App is designed to be a rapid personal self-check tool that simply walks people through a series of six questions related to sleep and fatigue. The questions relate to recent sleep quality & quantity, the presence of physical & mental signs of fatigue, and (probably most importantly) if the person feels fit to work, drive, etc. It is designed to complement (not replace) other layers of any Fatigue Management system.

It takes about one minute to complete a test, and the person is given a Green, Amber or Red outcome and any instructions for further action. The primary aim of the current version is to quickly provide a valuable self-reflection to inform the individual about their decisions related to commuting, driving, taking breaks, talking to a supervisor/manager, etc.

Our future outlook for the app is to create a Corporate version, where we would work with those clients who are interested in a more in-depth and customised version of the app. If that is of interest, or you’d like to find out more about the FatigueSafe App, please just let us know anytime, by email FatigueSafe@integratedsafety.com.au or by telephone +61 1300 98 57 58

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Things you didn't know about daylight saving time

Mar 28, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

By now, most of us have either moved in or out of daylight saving time (DST). For us here in Melbourne Australia, it signals the rapid decline into cold and dark winter, making us slightly jealous of our friends in the northern hemisphere! However, we’ve been doing some interesting reading about moving into DST, that has made the thought of rugging up that little bit easier!

According to research:

Not all is bleak when it comes to DST! Research has found that criminal activity such as robberies decreases by 7% following the shift to DST.

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

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Minimising Fatigue in Formula 1

Mar 21, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

The Formula 1 is a race of skill, stamina and endurance, where drivers are behind the wheel of a race car for hours at a time with massive forces working against their bodies. Drivers are susceptible to both physical and mental fatigue, and like most athletes, require adequate levels of sleep, nutrition and recovery to manage their fatigue.

Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo and his performance coach, Stuart Smith, explain how the Redbull Racer keeps himself in prime condition for racing, by following three important elements:

  • Switching off
  • Training
  • Maintaining Routines

These elements are a great way to help manage fatigue and are not just exclusively for athletes. Smith states that it is essential to completely unwind and get a proper mental and physical break. And for those crossing time zones like the Formula 1 teams, ensuring that you have adequate travel time before race day is essential, to be able to acclimatise to time zones and the environment.

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

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