Worker fatigue poses a potential health and safety hazard, and can be detrimental to the overall health of the workforce. Fatigue can have similar effects to alcohol, slowing down reaction time, causing lapses in judgement, and impairing cognitive ability. This danger is particularly relevant to projects which involve tunnelling, as the long shifts and rotating day and night shifts put workers at greater risk of fatigue.
The examples below show how one site addressed this concern:
- The site piloted a ‘fatigue wristband’ to establish the requirement for daily active fatigue monitoring and treatment of sleep abnormalities.
- The pilot project involves 20 operatives on the site, and provides them with individualised feedback on their own sleep and fatigue over their shift pattern.
- The wristbands assessed workers’ sleep data to accurately predict the effects of fatigue on their work.
- The data from the wristbands syncs automatically through the Cloud to a Predictive Fatigue tablet-based dashboard. The information from the wristbands allows for consultation to take place between individual operatives and the site health surveillance team on the extent to which performance is impaired by fatigue and sleep deprivation.
- 23.5% of on-duty hours during the project were spent working in a state of fatigue impairment.
- The company used this data to devise plans for risk reduction, including reducing the number of shifts, encouraging nap breaks, reassigning tasks based on individual fatigue levels, extra monitoring during night shifts, and individualised sleep plans for those workers who registered chronic fatigue.
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Monitor Report. Costain Vinci Joint Venture. Glasgow. December 2016.