Fatigue and Situational Awareness


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A look at how fatique can decrease situational awareness and decrease safety particularly with railway workers

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Fatigue and Situational Awareness

  1. 1. Sleep, Fatigue and Situational Awareness Atlanta Federal Safety and Health Council 2009
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Fatigue </li></ul><ul><li>Situational Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Application </li></ul>
  3. 3. Sleep <ul><li>Sleep is not merely a “time out” from our busy routines; </li></ul><ul><li>It is essential for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>good health, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mental and emotional functioning, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and MOST IMPORTANTLY safety.  </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Statistics <ul><li>About 10 percent of adults report not getting enough rest or sleep every day in the past month, according to the CDC. </li></ul><ul><li>Nationwide, an estimated 50 to 70 million people suffer from chronic sleep loss and sleep disorders. Sleep loss is associated with health problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Including obesity, depression, and certain risk behaviors, including cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, and heavy drinking. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Causes <ul><li>According to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report causes of sleep loss could include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Busy schedules or shift work; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irregular sleep schedules; or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestyle factors such as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy family demands, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Late-night television and Internet use, and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of caffeine and alcohol. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Do You Know That… <ul><li>Before Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. </li></ul><ul><li>Today Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours per night on weekends. </li></ul>
  7. 7. How much sleep is needed? <ul><li>The National Sleep Foundation reports that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to feel fully rested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children aged 5-12 years require 9-11 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adolescents aged 11-17 years require 8.5-9.5 hours </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What can you do? <ul><li>There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first step requires some research into your: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sleeping environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal habits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestyle </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Good “Sleep Hygiene” <ul><li>The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Good “Sleep Hygiene” <ul><li>The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid large meals before bedtime. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Shift Work <ul><li>Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) studies work schedules of railroad employees who have been involved in accidents or derailments </li></ul><ul><li>FRA uses the FAST Software (Fatigue Avoidance and Scheduling Tool) which was developed for the Air Force to schedule pilots. </li></ul>
  12. 12. FAST Product
  13. 13. FAST Product
  14. 14. Why are we analyzing this information? <ul><li>This is an industry-wide problem for railroad workers. </li></ul><ul><li>We hope to prevent future accidents by bringing attention to the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>We feel fatigue can lead to decreased situational awareness. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Situational Awareness <ul><li>What if you could predict that an event is about to take place and be one step ahead as the event unfolds? Would be nice, wouldn’t it? </li></ul><ul><li>Paying attention to your surroundings or “situational awareness” increases your response time to safely handle an unexpected event . </li></ul><ul><li>Know what is going on around you. </li></ul>
  16. 16. FACTORS THAT REDUCE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS <ul><li>Insufficient Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Fatigue / Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Task Overload </li></ul><ul><li>Task Underload </li></ul><ul><li>Degraded Operating Conditions </li></ul>
  17. 17. Application <ul><li>How does this information apply to you? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees of all jobs are affected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Field Employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Office/Administrative Employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drivers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Peer monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate your workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have maximum hours of work per day? </li></ul></ul></ul>