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Fatigue Risk Assessments

Fatigue is a complex issue and needs to be driven by science and objective analysis of data. Most importantly, it requires senior leadership to accept responsibility and accountability as owners of the work system and that it is only through the use of multiple, overlapping controls that fatigue can be effectively managed. But it all starts with risk assessment.

Solaris approaches fatigue risk from two directions; strategically and tactically.

1. Strategic Assessment

Needs Assessment & Gap Analysis™

This is step 1 in understanding how well you’re doing (or not doing) at understanding and managing fatigue related risk.

As knowledge of the impact of fatigue on business operations grows, it is imperative to build a strategic framework that is based on metrics to drive informed decision making. The result is a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) that operates within your Safety Management System.

Consider the following:

  • Has fatigue been identified as a contributing factor to incidents in your organization?
  • Are you in compliance with acts and regulations related to fatigue?
  • Are you in sync with standards and industry recommended practices?
  • Do you know what your employees are saying about fatigue and their schedules?
  • What was the basis for your current schedule design?

Solaris utilizes a proprietary Fatigue Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis (NAGATM) tool.  The NAGA is based on leading international research, guidelines and evidence-based best practice recommendations. At the completion of the assessment, you’re provided with a summary report of findings including a scorecard comparing actual fatigue risk management performance against potential performance.

Whether you have a mature system in place or are starting at square one, our NAGA will help you identify the gaps that are present and assist in setting your own targets and objectives.

Worker Surveys

Worker input is critical to successfully managing fatigue. Solaris provides an on-line Fatigue and Lifestyle Survey that consists of open-ended questions as well as ratings designed to identify personal fatigue related risks. It also reveals perceptions of how both workers and management are currently addressing fatigue. Data collected will assist in the validation of key issues of concern and inform the direction of essential education and training for the various departments and functions.

2. Tactical Assessment

Hazard ID and Risk Assessment

Fatigue can be task-related or sleep-related.

Task-related fatigue, whether physical or cognitive, is typically short term (acute) and we should be able to recover over the course of a good night’s rest. But what happens when the sleep you need doesn’t happen?

Sleep-related fatigue is a result inadequate restorative sleep, leading to decreased capacity to perform mental or physical work, and with lowered emotional tolerances. In this case, fatigue will continue to build in the body over time, until restorative sleep is achieved.

You heard correctly. Only sleep eliminates fatigue, nothing else.

Aside from the demands of the job, fatigue is also influenced by time of day factors and prior wakefulness. Personal factors such as health conditions can also affect fatigue and sleep recovery.

By following a fatigue incident trajectory, Solaris will identify and assess for organizational fatigue related hazards and their risk levels. This may include using a variety of scientific tools (e.g. biomathematical modeling software, eye gaze monitoring), wearable technologies (e.g. actigraphy) and proven techniques (e.g. fatigue matrices, performance impairment checklists) to evaluate for fatigue impacts relative to:

  • Shift schedule designs including call outs and extra work assignments
  • Commuting and journey management practices
  • Workload and work design
  • Environmental fatigue factors
  • Fatigue self-assessment and reporting practices
  • Health screening practices
  • Shift handover procedures
  • Break facilities and recovery opportunities
  • Error and incident analysis

It is only through a thorough risk assessment process that appropriate mitigation strategies can be selected to prevent the occurrence of a fatigue related incident at work or during the commute to and from work.


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