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:
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:
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?
Join us in Singapore for our Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society event in March 2019 to find out more about fatigue management
in aviation. For more information on cabin crew fatigue, contact us via
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
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:
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.
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.
Nov 10, 2017 ISS Comments (0)
It’s a reasonable expectation that medical staff be well rested and fit for work, considering the critical, urgent and vital decisions that are made in
hospitals. Being fatigued can endanger not only their lives but also those of their patients.
Recent results from an audit conducted by the Australian Medical Association has revealed fatigue-related statistics for doctors including:
The 2016 audit confirms that doctors at higher risk of fatigue typically work longer hours, longer shifts, have increased days on call, fewer days off and are more likely to skip meals. Several survey studies have been conducted and found that over 50% of anaesthetists claim to have made a fatigue-related decisions resulting in an error.
Doctors are not the only ones feeling the effects of fatigue. Results from a survey in Canada indicated that the top two factors relating to fatigue in nurses are increased workload and working short-staffed. Culture within the medical industry also has an effect on fatigue. Stoicism is common due to the nature of the work, resulting in fatigue often being overlooked.
Oct 20, 2017 ISS Comments (0)
The introduction of ride-sharing has seen an increase in people supplementing their primary income by becoming drivers.
Certain organisations offer incentives to drivers, encouraging them to accept more rides resulting in longer hours worked. Despite ride-sharing organisations having access to hours of driving data, it is not always actively managed, nor do they do not have any information about what the driver has been doing before jumping behind the wheel.
In February 2016, Uber issued a notice to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announcing a new policy under which drivers would be temporarily deactivated once they reached a 12-hour driving limit. Uber drivers who exceeded the limit a second time would be deactivated permanently. At competitor Lyft, drivers are required to take a 6-hour break for every 14 hours they have been driving, whether they are consecutive or not.
Although these kinds of policies are a good step forward towards managing driver fatigue, they are not mandated globally and do not take into consideration any of the driver’s previous or future activities including other work.