Fatigue Management Solutions - workDesignAnalysis

By: Fatigue Management Solutions  09-12-2011

Worldwide Human Error/Accidents Peak:

2:00am to 6:00am

1st & 2nd night shifts

1st & 2nd days back to work

Within few hours of shift start, especially on shift starts before 7:30am

On commute home from night shift

Although employees have a responsibility to manage fitness for work, this is inextricably linked to company policies and practices. Pressures and practices of long working hours, night work and early starts, work environment, work and task load will affect employee alertness, attentiveness, performance and safety because:

  • Fatigue increases with routine, monotonous and low work/task load independent of time-of-day fatigue factors, or increases when monotonous work coincides with fatigue zones.
  • Effects of fatigue on performance include: slowed reaction time; poor concentration; forgetfulness; complacency & increased reluctance to expend effort.
  • Shift work design can affect alertness, while work load can be monotonous inducing fatigue, both of which will impair performance.
  • Performance can become degraded when workload and task demand exceed employee’s ability to sustain work pace, e.g. simultaneously, multi-tasking, rapid information processing, decision-making and problem solving.
  • Too much, or complex information, or both, will lead to stress. Too simple or homogeneous information will lead to boredom. In short, over-stimulation leads to anxiety, under-stimulation to boredom. Both impair performance.
  • Ability to mobilise extra reserve becomes impaired by insufficient sleep or extended shift work. When spare capacity is used up, performance rapidly deteriorates. Inability to meet task demand can lead to errors or accidents including in emergencies.
  • Job demands, work and task load can cause both physical and mental fatigue.
  • Solitary work requiring sustained vigilance and carried out in monotonous, non-stimulating environment, is most sensitive to fatigue and vigilance loss.

The way in which an organisation designs and manages its operation, work environment and shift work schedules will have a significant impact on employee alertness, attentiveness and stress which, in turn, will impact performance, safety and the bottom-line.

Applying specialised knowledge of work environment/conditions and shift work on employee alertness and attentiveness, we have the expertise to assess the interaction of work conditions on employee performance. From this we can outline customised options to assist your organisation enhance productivity, safety, and employee performance.

In conducting our comprehensive assessment Fatigue Management Solutions’ (FMS) human factor and fatigue risk advisors will:

  • Apply systems and scenario analysis, conduct manager/staff interviews, site observation and key performance indicator analysis, identifying interaction of work environment/conditions, practices/policies, work and task load & shift work lifestyle on cognitive processes, data processing, decision-making, task planning/execution and the impact on performance, attentiveness, stress & accident risk.
  • Utilise our specialised fatigue risk software and expert based knowledge of the interaction of shift work design on alertness determinants including: circadian rhythms, sleep timing length, and regularity to identify schedule fatigue risk.
  • Recommend counterbalancing strategies (work environment, alertness promoting shift work design & training/instruction) to sustain attentiveness, work efficiency and productivity that:
    • Confirms the utility, feasibility and business case for adopting practical mitigation measures by providing decision makers with:
      • defensible and tangible information
      • confident estimates of fatigue and human factor risk

Our assessment can help you improve the safety and performance of your existing work place. We can also assess planned changes to your work place, or a new work place you are planning, and recommend appropriate, customised human-centered work design and work schedules. This proactive/preventative approach will avoid issues that can later manifest as inattentiveness and fatigue, impairing human performance.

FMS: Innovative Fatigue Management Solutions Working For You

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