Integrated Safety Support
Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society
Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society

The Fatigue Insider Blog

Alyth Yard derailment

Oct 13, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

On the morning of the 18th February 2016, a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train derailed 13 cars in Alyth Yard, Canada. The train was only moving 4 km/h at the time, resulting in no injuries.

The investigation report published by the Transport Safety Board (TSB) identified fatigue as a contributing factor, stating "the locomotive engineer was likely fatigued due to poor-quality sleep in the 2 weeks prior to the occurrence and being awake for at least 23 hours at the time of the accident". The engineer involved had woken up early the day before the incident and was anticipating to be called to work that afternoon. However, he learned later on in the day that he wouldn't be called to work until the evening. Despite not being sufficiently rested, the engineer did not call in unfit for work due to fears of disciplinary action. 

Fatigue Management is a shared responsibility between employers and employees, including factors that are both internal and external to the work place. 


For more information on managing fatigue in  on-call work environments, click here to purchase tickets to our upcoming Fatigue Insider Seminar, or contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn.










Bad habits affecting your sleep

Oct 06, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

It’s been a long day at work, you’ve had a few coffees to keep you going and now you’re tucked into bed reading this from your personal device, right? We hope not!

Bad habits leading to poor sleep can diminish your attention, impair your memory and challenge your decision-making ability. What’s worse, chronic poor sleep can eventually lead to serious health issues.

It's widely known and accepted that the average adult requires roughly 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, with life's busy schedule and poor pre-bedtime habits, this amount of sleep is not commonly attained.

Habits that can sabotage our sleep include:

  • Not being active enough throughout the day
  • Exercising intensely too close to bedtime
  • Surfing the web on your mobile device
  • Working in bed
  • Drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening
  • Late-night meals
  • A nightcap or two
  • Lack of routine

For more information on getting yourself into a good sleep routine, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.


Two sleep nerds walk into a bar...

Sep 29, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

This week, Dr Adam Fletcher spoke to Ian Dunican, Director of Sleep4Performance and Researcher at the University of Western Australia (UWA), about all things sleep for on-call and standby workers. Adam and Ian also discussed the upcoming Fatigue Insider Seminar.

There are strong parallels between those high-performance individuals across sports and military, and workers in high-risk industries, particularly in relation to sleep, nutrition and mindset.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

For more information on the Fatigue Insider Seminar or to purchase tickets click here.

Beware of the Dark Side: Using light to reduce jet lag

Sep 22, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

At ISS, we’re frequently travelling overseas to work with clients, and it’s safe to say we’re self-proclaimed nerds when it comes to avoiding jet lag.

On the top of our must-do list for avoiding jet lag is using light, especially when crossing more than five time zones (or through hyperspace).

In practical terms, when travelling west, get bright light for an hour or more starting from when you would normally go to sleep. This aims to delay your sleep and (hopefully) allow you to sleep in and wake up closer to your new time zones social schedule.

When travelling east, you would ideally get up earlier than normal and expose yourself to bright light for an hour or more in the few days leading up to your travel. Also turn your lights and devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets) off early, at least two hours before the time you want to fall asleep. This aims to kick your sleep time and wake up time earlier, more aligned with the social cues further east of you.

If you don’t mind looking nerdy like us, we recommend the intergalactic-looking Re-timer LED glasses. If you want to avoid light at certain times during your travel, search online for blue blocking sunglasses or use an eye mask.

For more information on the use of light, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.


Sun, Sand, Sea... And Vitamin D!

Sep 08, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

This year, some of us at ISS have been fortunate enough to be working with clients in Europe, “forcing” us to soak up the rays of European summer!

Although technically a hormone and not a vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure. Dr Stasha Gominak, a neurologist at the East Texas Medical Center has found that most of her patients had improvement in sleep, but only when vitamin D3 blood levels were between 60-80 ng/ml (which is 2-3 times higher than most official recommended levels).

In order for the majority of people to reach stable levels of vitamin D in this range, daily use of a supplement is required. To absorb vitamin D3 research has shown vitamin K2 is also needed, and are often found together in supplements.

For more information on vitamin D and sleep, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



Tour de Fatigue

Jul 24, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

The Tour de France has finally come to an end, with the last few weeks being long and arduous for riders and fans alike. Unfortunately, this stage race has been plagued with doping issues, almost since its inception in 1903. Blood doping specifically, is an illicit process of increasing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream to enhance athletic performance, reducing fatigue and recovery time. During an event like the Tour de France, this reduction is utmost important to a cyclist.

Authorities have cracked down on doping, significantly increasing the focus on managing personal fatigue. Cyclists have to work with their physiology and manage their fatigue to see performance improvements. Cyclists are now on average competing in fewer races a year, but are also using apps and programs to assist in fatigue management throughout training and racing.

Restwise is an app used by cyclists, which gives you a total recovery score based on numerous factors including resting heart rate, body mass, sleep, appetite, muscle soreness and the previous day’s performance. Programs such as TrainingPeaks look at intensity, duration and frequency of a session and gives you a score within a performance management chart that informs a rider if they are likely to be recovered or not.

For more information, grab yourself a copy of James Witts’ ‘The Science of the Tour de France: Training secrets of the world’s best cyclists’ or contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



The world's largest sleep study needs you!

Jun 28, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Dr Adrian Owen, a renowned neuroscientist from Western University in Ontario, Canada, has very recently launched the world's largest sleep-and-cognition study to help understand the effect sleep and sleep deprivation has on our brains. 

Researchers aim to better understand why the brain craves sleep and what happens to our thinking abilities when we don't sleep well or enough. There is currently little global-scale research into exactly how our brains deal with these sleep deficits.

Study participants are asked to track their sleep over a 3-day period while playing a set of scientifically valid tests of brain function. Sleep values and performance data will be available for participants to view and compare with other volunteers throughout the 6-month study. 

For more information on the study, or to sign up to participate click =>here<=. 

At ISS we have recently been conducting several large studies on helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft pilots around the world. Specifically, we have been collecting objective sleep and performance data, as well as self-reported sleep and fatigue data. If you would like more information about the types of data we can collect contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.