Focus on Fatigue

Focus on Fatigue, Issue 25

By March 1, 2014 No Comments

Welcome to Focus on Fatigue,

A common complaint from regulators about the use of biomathematical models of fatigue, is a lack of understanding amongst users of the most meaningful and appropriate way to implement and use them within a Fatigue Risk Management System. This can result in what is often referred to as ‘perverse scheduling behaviours’. These usually occur from a misunderstanding of what the model is for, what it’s outputs are actually telling you, over-reliance on the model to determine whether a worker is safe or not (“go/no-go” decisions), and can result in behaviours such as ad-hoc manipulation of shifts to start people five minutes later or stop them five minutes earlier (for example), so that workers never go into ‘the red’. This of course, apart from creating a feeling among workers that a machine is running their work life, is focusing on the trees to the potential exclusion of the forest. There IS another/better way..

Whilst training in functionality and appropriate use is available to any organisation that has or wishes to implement FAID, sadly not everyone takes us up on this service. As such, InterDynamics does whatever it can to educate and inform users of the place that FAID plays within a Risk-Based Approach to Fatigue Management, and how to utilise the various/multi-dimentional Key Performance Indicators within FAID to manage hours of work related fatigue risks in a mature fashion, that is in keeping with best practice risk management principles.

Within this edition of Focus on Fatigue we point out Safe Work Australia’s recent fatigue management guideance material, and bring you a preview of some of the guidance material and tweaked functionality found in the soon to be released v2.2 of FAID. Apart from our ongoing quest to ensure understanding of the contextual and appropriate use through our website, user guides, training webinars, newsletters and training workshops, we have increased the level of useful information within FAID v2.2 itself. We are also more explicitly highlighting what (to many) may seem a new way of using FAID, in the suggested linking of Fatigue Tolerance Levels (FTLs) to Target Compliance Percentages, in order to have greater flexibility on day of operations, whilst still meeting overall monthly targets. See below for further details and a potential combination of hours of work rules that could fit within your organisations FRMS guidelines.

This edition’s ‘In the News’ section goes back to basics and focuses on the key weapon against fatigue related risks – sleep. By way of latest research and some excellent interactive learning tools and infographics we look at what is going on when we sleep, the changes effected by shiftwork and sleep disorders, and the benefits of getting, and impacts of missing out on this most important ingredient of life.

We hope the information provided is not only interesting, but contains useful resources for your fatigue risk management toolkit and organisational safety programs. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on, and/or suggest colleagues to sign up for themselves and review previous editions here.

Work Safely.
Peter Mushenko
Senior Fatigue Risk Consultant

InterDynamics - Navigating Complexity. Delivering Clarity.



InterDynamics Pty Ltd
320 Adelaide Street Brisbane Qld 4000
Tel +61 2 8404 0400 Ext 23

Views expressed in articles and links provided are those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InterDynamics (except where directly attributed).

Feature Articles

Is FAID currently helping or hindering your organisation?

How many Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) do you currently work towards/report out of FAID?

Is an upper limit FTL the only rule currently provided to rostering and scheduling staff?

Do your workers and managers feel frustrated and dis-empowered by current FAID benchmarks and hours of work rules?

Many organisations are getting benefit from the implementation of a more graded risk-based approach for schedulers and managers, through various guideposts and multiple indicators. This approach results in greater flexibility to plan with confidence; knowing that whilst things may (and do) change on day of operations, planning structures have accommodated for this, with managers having discretion as they should, for required variances that are within the accepted range of compliance over the schedule cycle and certain upper ‘hard’ limits.

The linked article contains useful examples of various suitable KPI’s that can be employed within FAID (inluding the ‘Target Compliance %” receiving greater prominence within the soon to be released v2.2) to reduce the risk of perverse scheduling behaviours (see editorial above) that often frustrate regulators and workers alike.


Continuous improvement, and holistic Risk Management frameworks

Understanding and managing your organisational risk profile with relation to fatigue is an important process within FRMS that involves looking at multiple areas of exposure.

Fatigue levels for individuals can be the result of a number of factors including, recovery sleep (quality and quantity) achieved, hours of work impacts, workload, environment, health issues, and individual susceptibility/resilience to fatigue. Both work and non-work related fatigue factors contribute to safety risks at work, and as a result, require proactive management by individuals and the organisation to ensure the risks associated with fatigue are controlled to a tolerable level.


Safe Work Australia: Guide for managing the risk of fatigue at work

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 recognised fatigue as one of many risks requiring management. In November 2013, Safe Work Australia released  guidance material for mangaging the risk of fatigue at work. The Guide contains information that can be applied generally to all types of work and workplaces covered by the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act. It is not designed to provide information on managing fatigue in specific industries and does not replace requirements related to fatigue under other laws, for example heavy vehicle driver fatigue laws or rail safety requirements.


InterDynamics News

FAID v2.2 – coming soon

A spanking new version of FAID is on it’s way! Complete with a newly modernised colour scheme, improved functionality/useability, and enhanced guidance material, the finishing touches are being made across the range of FAID variants and customised versions, for a full release over the next few months. Those up to date on their Annual Licence Access and Support fees will receive the latest version as a matter of course at no extra charge. If you are not currently paying annual support, make sure to get in touch with us to come up to date and receive your own latest version of the new-look FAID v2.2.

Conferences and presentations

This section outlines recent and upcoming InterDynamics speaking engagements and/or conferences that we recommend and will be in attendance at.

9th International conference on Managing Fatigue, Freemantle Western Australia, 23-26 March 2015

The ‘Managing Fatigue’ conference series is now an established and respected forum for research updates and discussion in the fatigue management community. First convened in 1992 by Associate Professor Laurence Hartley the meeting was most recently held in Fremantle in 2011. Each conference has primarily focused on the effects of fatigue in the transportation sector and this has involved working in conjunction with organisations such as the ‘National Road Transport Commission’ (NRTC) and the ‘Australian Transport Safety Bureau’ (ATSB). Over the years the meeting focus has also evolved to encompass a wider arena including sectors such as Aviation, Maritime, Industrial, Resources and Health.

Conference Themes

  • Transportation
  • Resources
  • Health

Who Should Attend?

  • Occupational Health and Safety Professionals
  • Transportation Staff
  • Researchers
  • Road Safety Experts
  • Military Personnel
  • Aviation Experts
  • Freight and Heavy Vehicle Professionals
  • Defence, Science and Technology Organisations
  • Medical Professionals
  • Road Authorities

In the News

Provided below are a selection of resources and articles from around the web on the issues associated with fatigue. We hope you find them useful and interesting.

What is this thing called sleep?

Interactive learning: Stages of sleep and sleep patterns through different life stages, shiftwork and sleep disorders

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School

For those interested in seeing graphically how we sleep during different stages of our life, and the stages of sleep within a night and how they are impaced by shiftwork, insomnia or sleep apnoea, the division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School has put together a very informative interactive learning tool.


Interactive learning: The impact of Sleep/Wake rhythms

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School

This excellent interactive display shows what is at play between the competing forces of Sleep Drive (homeostatic drive for sleep) and Alerting Signal (Circadian based rhythm) in various scenarios, including going to bed late, sleeping in on the weekend, jet lag impacts travelling East and West, and working night shifts.


The mysteries of sleep explained

Matta, Christy, MA., “The Mysteries of Sleep Explained”, PsychCentral,, September 2013

What is happening during those precious hours when we’re asleep? Is it really a time of restoration for our brains? And is it possible that it’s more than that? What happens in our brains while we’re asleep is a question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer.


The importance of sleep

Educational Infographic: The dangers of sleep deprivation

A Page, Health Central, “The dangers of sleep deprivation (infographic),” 13 March, 2013

This easily accessible infographic provides information on what happens to your body when you are suffering from sleep deprivation. Important information for all shiftworkers to be aware of. Click the image for a larger printable version.


Benefits of sleep

Brain Washing: Sleep’s primary function?

Paul Pector, M.D., Pantheon Medicine, “Brain Washing: Sleep’s Primary Function?”,, 12 December, 2013

In a remarkable series of experiments dramatic increase in the removal of toxic waste products in the sleeping state that had accumulated in the waking brain has been observed. These findings have enormous implications. It opens new possibilities for the treatment of all neurodegenerative diseases. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, a condition caused by a failure to clear soluble proteins from the brain.


A night’s sleep cleans brain of harmful toxins

Charles Choi, Live Science “A Night’s Sleep Cleans Brain of Harmful Toxins”,, 17 October, 2013

A good night’s sleep conveys many benefits to a person, including boosts to memory, concentration and learning. Now, another benefit of sleep has been discovered — it flushes out harmful toxins that build up in the brain during the day, researchers say.


Generally sleepy..

Top 10 most interesting sleep discoveries of 2013

The Sleepy Shopper, “Most Interesting Sleep Discoveries of 2013”,, 13 December, 2013

2013 brought several interesting sleep discoveries and research studies and we think they deserve a review to remind us just how important this vital function proves to health and happiness. Included in the review: Beauty sleep may indeed be a fact, The full moon can affect sleep, Sleep deprivation changes genes, Lower BMIs for longer sleepers, Rest can affect grocery habits, Links between social relationships and sleep and more.


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