NSC: Taking Fatigue Seriously!

NSC: Taking Fatigue Seriously!

In December of 2016, I was thrilled to be invited to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) first Blue Ribbon Panel on Fatigue held in Chicago. It was an excellent opportunity to meet and collaborate with icons in the fields of fatigue and sleep research as we broke into workshops to discuss the status of fatigue and how it is being managed (or not managed) at the worksite. 

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dr. David Lombardi, Dr. Charles Czeisler, Dr. Mary Caskadon, Dr. Mark Rosekind, Dr. Steven Higgins, Dr. Imelda Wong, and so many more reaffirmed the need for tackling the issue of fatigue from a position of science and evidenced-based research. 

2016 Blue Ribbon Panel on Fatigue (Can you spot me?)

 This inaugural event led to the development of tools and guidance documents issued by the NSC and which are readily available to both the public and private industry sectors. Many of these resources were introduced to us at the NSC’s 2019 Workplace Fatigue Conference in Seattle, an outcome of the efforts in Chicago. This event once again drew world-class researchers but more importantly, it drew industry leaders who came to learn and share. 

One of the many resources introduced at the event is the NSC’s Fatigue Cost Calculator. Led by Dr. Charles Czeilser and The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Sleep Matters Initiative, this tool helps organizations build a business case around the development of fatigue management initiatives. After inputting workforce size, industry and location, this information is used to predict the prevalence of sleep deficiency and common sleep disorders among employees in geographical regions. Most importantly, the algorithms are based on the findings of 55 peer-reviewed studies. 

It must be noted that this is a US based tool on American figures of sleep deficiency and sleep disorders. It does not directly equate to Canadian sleep or cost factors (perhaps it’s time to develop our own?). 

There are numerous resources available on the NSC website including videos and an excellent white paper that looks at the causes and effects of fatigue entitled Tired at Work: How Fatigue Affects our Bodies. 

As fatigue hits the radar of more and more companies, it’s important to make informed decisions using the latest science available. A big shout out to Emily Whitcomb and the rest of the fatigue management team at the NSC for continuing to drive this important conversation forward! 

In the Footsteps of Heroes

In the Footsteps of Heroes

I had the pleasure of presenting fatigue management concepts to the Occupational Safety and Health Cooperative Committee at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando. And yes, that’s my foot in the photo, proving I was there! 

A huge shout out to Darcy Miller and Brian Gloade of NASA for inviting me to address such an important group of leaders, and for the once-in-a-lifetime behind the scenes tour. We’ve all witnessed that defining moment when, on the day of a launch, the astronauts exit through that infamous doorway littered with past mission stickers, smiling, waving, before being whisked away and strapped onto massive rockets that go where few, or no one, has gone before them. 

To walk the path of the astronauts as they made their way onto a Mercury, Apollo or Space Shuttle flight was humbling. To view the remnants of the Apollo 1 disaster site, and the debris collected from Challenger and Columbia… words simply cannot describe their courage, or the bravery of those who marched forward from the footsteps left behind. 

Such legacies continue to drive space exploration forward and human factors is front and center in ensuring the safety of these noble missions. Their Human Systems Integration Division is world leading in the areas of human performance, human computer interaction, and technology design for both in-flight and ground operations. But its the people, the spirit, the camaraderie that is their heart and soul, proudly displayed through such ways as the signature wall of every worker who has helped to launch a space shuttle. 

In other news, the Canadian Space Agency is recruiting potential astronauts for two spots in its program. To date, they have received over 3300 applications. If only I was 30 years younger! 

NSC: Taking Fatigue Seriously!

NSC: Taking Fatigue Seriously!

In December of 2016, I was thrilled to be invited to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) first Blue Ribbon Panel on Fatigue held in Chicago. It was an excellent opportunity to meet and collaborate with icons in the fields of fatigue and sleep research as we broke into workshops to discuss the status of fatigue and how it is being managed (or not managed) at the worksite. 

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dr. David Lombardi, Dr. Charles Czeisler, Dr. Mary Caskadon, Dr. Mark Rosekind, Dr. Steven Higgins, Dr. Imelda Wong, and so many more reaffirmed the need for tackling the issue of fatigue from a position of science and evidenced-based research. 

2016 Blue Ribbon Panel on Fatigue (Can you spot me?)

 This inaugural event led to the development of tools and guidance documents issued by the NSC and which are readily available to both the public and private industry sectors. Many of these resources were introduced to us at the NSC’s 2019 Workplace Fatigue Conference in Seattle, an outcome of the efforts in Chicago. This event once again drew world-class researchers but more importantly, it drew industry leaders who came to learn and share. 

One of the many resources introduced at the event is the NSC’s Fatigue Cost Calculator. Led by Dr. Charles Czeilser and The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Sleep Matters Initiative, this tool helps organizations build a business case around the development of fatigue management initiatives. After inputting workforce size, industry and location, this information is used to predict the prevalence of sleep deficiency and common sleep disorders among employees in geographical regions. Most importantly, the algorithms are based on the findings of 55 peer-reviewed studies. 

It must be noted that this is a US based tool on American figures of sleep deficiency and sleep disorders. It does not directly equate to Canadian sleep or cost factors (perhaps it’s time to develop our own?). 

There are numerous resources available on the NSC website including videos and an excellent white paper that looks at the causes and effects of fatigue entitled Tired at Work: How Fatigue Affects our Bodies. 

As fatigue hits the radar of more and more companies, it’s important to make informed decisions using the latest science available. A big shout out to Emily Whitcomb and the rest of the fatigue management team at the NSC for continuing to drive this important conversation forward! 

In the Footsteps of Heroes

In the Footsteps of Heroes

I had the pleasure of presenting fatigue management concepts to the Occupational Safety and Health Cooperative Committee at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando. And yes, that’s my foot in the photo, proving I was there! 

A huge shout out to Darcy Miller and Brian Gloade of NASA for inviting me to address such an important group of leaders, and for the once-in-a-lifetime behind the scenes tour. We’ve all witnessed that defining moment when, on the day of a launch, the astronauts exit through that infamous doorway littered with past mission stickers, smiling, waving, before being whisked away and strapped onto massive rockets that go where few, or no one, has gone before them. 

To walk the path of the astronauts as they made their way onto a Mercury, Apollo or Space Shuttle flight was humbling. To view the remnants of the Apollo 1 disaster site, and the debris collected from Challenger and Columbia… words simply cannot describe their courage, or the bravery of those who marched forward from the footsteps left behind. 

Such legacies continue to drive space exploration forward and human factors is front and center in ensuring the safety of these noble missions. Their Human Systems Integration Division is world leading in the areas of human performance, human computer interaction, and technology design for both in-flight and ground operations. But its the people, the spirit, the camaraderie that is their heart and soul, proudly displayed through such ways as the signature wall of every worker who has helped to launch a space shuttle. 

In other news, the Canadian Space Agency is recruiting potential astronauts for two spots in its program. To date, they have received over 3300 applications. If only I was 30 years younger!