Best Practices for Fatigue Risk Management in Non-traditional Shiftwork

Discipline: Human Factors
Webcast Air Date: July 12, 2016

Fatigue risk management programs provide effective tools to mitigate fatigue among shift workers. Although such programs are effective for typical shiftwork scenarios, where individuals of equal skill level can be divided into shifts to cover 24 hour operations, traditional programs are not sufficient for managing sleep loss among individuals with unique skill sets, in occupations where non-traditional schedules are required. Such operations are prevalent at NASA and in other high stress occupations, including among airline pilots, military personnel, and expeditioners. These types of operations require fatigue risk management programs tailored to the specific requirements of the mission. Without appropriately tailored fatigue risk management, such operations can lead to an elevated risk of operational failure, disintegration of teamwork, and increased risk of accidents and incidents. In order to design schedules for such operations, schedule planners must evaluate the impact of a given operation on circadian misalignment, acute sleep loss, chronic sleep loss and sleep inertia. In addition, individual-level factors such as morningness-eveningness preference and sleep disorders should be considered. After the impact of each of these factors has been identified, scheduling teams can design schedules that meet operational requirements, while also minimizing fatigue.

Presenters: Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans