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The Fatigue Insider Blog

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 (1)

 

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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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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Fatigued cabin crew

Oct 03, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

The airline industry is a growing 24/7 operation, boasting an estimated 39 million flights to be flown worldwide by the end of 2018. Flying passengers across the country, or even across the globe, can create a variety of different challenges for cabin crew, including extended duty periods, highly variable schedules, possible frequent time zone changes, and increased passenger loads.

A study has shown a link between the job characteristics of cabin crew and fatigue. The graph below is an indication of the main work factors that contribute to fatigue amongst cabin crew workers, according to union representatives. Long hours and lack of rest are seen as the main offenders.


 

Other factors that may contribute to cabin crew fatigue include, but are not limited to:

  • Consecutive duty days
  • Length of layovers
  • Timezone changes
  • Delays
  • Availability for breaks
  • Availability of a healthy meal
  • Passenger disruption
  • Aircraft type swaps

In 2016, a bill was pass that requires airlines to provide cabin crew with a minimum 10-hour rest period between shifts, matching the requirement for pilots. The bill also included a requirement for cabin crew to be included in Fatigue Risk Management Systems, which until that point was only applied to pilots.

In Australia, there are currently no civil aviation regulations governing duty times and rest requirements for cabin crew. Their duty limitations are set contractually, and minimum standards are set by the country in which the cabin crew are employed. Cabin crew are our first responders to a safety event - is it time they are included in fatigue regulations?

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is napping at work the new norm?

Sep 26, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Tired or fatigued employees can have a significant effect in the workplace, reducing productivity through personal days, reduced hours and a general decline in efficiency while working. The solution is simple, and no, it does not involve drinking copious amounts of coffee. Studies have shown napping to be quite beneficial, improving alertness and performance.

 

Workplaces around the world, such as some air traffic control organisations, have formalised a controlled napping procedure, where naps are built into a controller's daily schedule. The most beneficial nap we would recommend is one of 20-25 minutes in length, however, even a 10-minute power nap is enough to improve one's cognitive function and reaction time. 

 

It is advisable to limit your naps to less than 30 minutes, in order to minimise sleep inertia -  the period of impaired performance and grogginess experienced after waking - and allow yourself to wake up.

 

Join us in Singapore for our Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society event in March 2019 to find out more about what the current research tells us about naps. For more information on napping, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

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Fatigue in Mariners

Feb 28, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Fatigue has long been an issue recognised in the marine industry and has been associated with several accidents at sea. Project MARTHA was launched in 2013, to look at the growing international issue of fatigue in greater detail.

The study aimed to get a better understanding of fatigue, as well as the psychosocial issues associated with long-term fatigue and motivation during long tours of duty. The study was completed over three years by collecting data from industry through questionnaires, diaries and actigraphy watches.

The research conducted under Project MARTHA’s found that:

  • Tours of duty over six months may lead to increased levels of fatigue, loss of sleep quality and reduced motivation;
  • Night-watch keepers are most at risk of falling asleep on duty;
  • Captains feel stressed and fatigued at the end of their tours of duty, and require significant recovery time.

 

It was also acknowledged that managing the risk of fatigue can improve the health of crew and minimise near-misses, incidents and accidents at sea.

 

For more information on fatigue in the marine industry, or collecting sleep and hours or work data, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or comment below.

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Melatonin - should you use it?

Nov 17, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the human body by the pineal gland. It aids the body to regulate its circadian rhythm. Melatonin is produced in the evening, creating a natural drowsy effect in the body. During the day or throughout periods of light exposure, its production is suppressed.

At ISS, we use melatonin supplements for to adjust our circadian rhythm in order to manage our jet lag or to adjust to a certain shift schedule.

The dosage for melatonin supplements we use, varies depending on what we are using it for. If we are trying to nudge our circadian clock, we would generally take 0.5 milligrams per day. However to when adjusting to a new time zone to alleviate jet lag, 3 – 5 milligrams once a day is recommended.

Melatonin is available in tablet form, but we also recommend using Sprayable, a topical melatonin spray. Each bottle contains roughly 250mg of melatonin, which equates to the dosage being 0.05mg (or two sprays). We are a huge fan of this product, as less melatonin is better and using it topically is far more effective than orally.

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

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