Focus on Fatigue

Focus on Fatigue, Issue 26

By September 1, 2014 No Comments

Welcome to Focus on Fatigue,

Welcome to Focus on Fatigue.  We’ve got a lot to talk about this month … the release of an informative paper on biomathematical models, the launch of FAID v2.2 and information on upcoming conferences, not to mention a range of fatigue related articles that we’ve gathered.

Our feature article is Getting Real about Biomathematical Fatigue Models. Tu Mushenko discusses the best way to apply a Biomathematical model in the operational context. Models should reflect current scientific understanding of human fatigue and performance, however require operational validation to ensure their relevance and usefulness within each organisational context. Examples of Proactive, Reactive, and Predictive analysis is provided using FAID.

The focus for the In The News articles for this edition is sleep (or the lack thereof) and the many ways that this affects the brain, from memory loss to anxiety, actual brain damage and emotional issues.

We hope the information provided is not only interesting, but contains useful resources for your fatigue risk management tool-kit 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.

Len Pearson
General Manager

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

Getting Real About Biomathematical Fatigue Models

Scientific research over many decades has enabled biomathematical models (BMMs) of fatigue and performance to be developed to support fatigue risk management. Researchers and model developers have contributed various papers on the science behind BMMs and their applicability within the operational context. A recent paper written by Tu Mushenko provides an overview of the key scientific principles applied by most BMMs, and how models can be used to support fatigue hazard identification. The paper also covers model accuracy and required validation to ensure model relevance within a specific organisation’s risk context.  FAID is used to demonstrate many of the points outlined in the paper.


InterDynamics News

FAID v2.2 Released

FAID v2.2 has now been sent, at no extra charge, to all InterDynamics clients who are up to date with their Annual Licence Access and Support fees. In addition to a newly modernised colour scheme, FAID 2.2 has improved functionality/usability and there is a new focus on linking Fatigue Tolerance Levels (FTLs) to Target Compliance Percentages. These measures may be used in order to have greater flexibility on day of operations, whilst still meeting overall monthly targets.  Full details of what’s new in FAID v2.2 can be found here.

Contact us if you would like to to upgrade your existing version of FAID to version v2.2 and take advantage of the new enhancements, or to discuss other aspects of FRMS that we can assist with.

Conferences and presentations

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

AGIFORS Crew Management Conference, Atlanta GA, USA – 11-14 May 2014

Len Pearson, InterDynamics’ General Manager, attended the recent AGIFORS Crew Management Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia.  As part of the conference proceedings Len was invited to present a 15 minute overview of InterDynamics’ capabilities during the technical session.  Held over three days the conference consisted of a series of technical presentations, discussions, vendor exhibitions and social activities.  The technical presentations and vendor exhibitions showcased the latest trends, ideas, and technological advances in the areas of crew scheduling, staffing, resource planning, crew system replacement and optimization. AGIFORS (the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies)  is a society with the avowed purpose of promoting the practice of Operational Research in airlines. The membership consists of Operational Research workers who are also employed by recognized civil airlines.

2014 FRMS Forum Conference, Singapore, 30-31 October 2014

The third aviation FRMS Forum Conference will be held this year at the Singapore Aviation Academy, Changi Airport, Singapore. The agenda for this years conference will focus on providing some illumination from the regulatory community on their requirements as well as helping delegates to explore the FRMS implementation process by learning from presenters with experience and joining in work groups to consider certain issues that emerge as this relatively new process develops into reality.

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 Freemantle 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 articles from around the web on the issues associated with fatigue. We hope you find them useful and interesting.

Case studies

Sleep debt can result in lasting brain injury

Sleep Review, “Sleep Debt can result in lasting Brain Injury”,, 18 March 2014

For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch-up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

More …

Chronic Poor Sleep May Lead to Lasting Brain Damage

Dr Michael J. Breus, The Huffington Post.  “Chronic Poor Sleep May Lead to Lasting Brain Damage”. 15 September 2014.

New research suggests that the consequences of chronic insufficient sleep are less reversible than previously understood and may involve lasting damage to the brain. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and China’s Peking University studied neural activity in mice under different levels of sleep loss. They found prolonged periods without sleep led to impaired neurological cell function and to the death of brain cells. This is some of the first evidence to indicate irreversible damage to the brain linked to insufficient sleep.

More …

Scientists have discovered why some thrive on less sleep than others

Yahoo News..  “Scientists have discovered why some thrive on less sleep than others., August 1, 2014.

Researchers at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a study to find out why a small percentage of people appear to only need six hours of sleep whereas almost everyone else needs between eight and nine hours for optimal functioning during the day. Working with 100 pairs of twins they have identified a gene mutation that allows one to not only function on less sleep but also to experience fewer effects of sleep deprivation even after an all-nighter. Individuals with the variant gene slept just five hours per night on average, on the flipside, the twin without the mutation slept an hour and five minutes longer and struggled more in attempting to perform after 36 sleepless hours than his sibling with the variant.  Cognitive performance was measured every two hours during the sleep deprivation period by means of the Psychomotor Vigilance Test.  After this period of extended sleep deprivation, the twin without the variant slept for 9.5 hours while his brother or sister slept just eight hours to catch up.  The AASM notes that six hours of sleep or less is simply not enough for those without the gene mutation and that those who attempt to thrive on so little sleep without the variant risk health consequences.

More …

Fatigue directly related to accident injuring comedian Tracy Morgan

ABC News.  “Tracy Morgan car crash: Truck driver involved had not slept for 24 hours, court papers say”., 11 June 2014.

According to court papers, the truck driver charged in the New Jersey accident that killed one man and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan had not slept in more than 24 hours, a criminal violation of New Jersey state law. The truck driver failed to see traffic slowing in front of him and slammed into the limo bus carrying Morgan, flipping the limo on its roof and causing a chain-reaction crash involving four other vehicles.

More …

The importance of sleep

Sleep and Memory:  Does Poor Sleep Lead to Dementia?

Mitchell G. Miglis, M.D., The Huffington Post.  “Sleep and Memory: Does Poor Slleep Lead to Dementia?”, 15 September 2014

If it’s been established that short-term sleep deprivation can produce transient cognitive impairment, what about chronic sleep deprivation? Can this eventually lead to permanent memory loss? Does fragmented sleep lead to dementia, such as that of Alzheimer’s disease? There have been several recent studies that have attempted to better answer this important question.

More …

Sleep Loss Causes Brain Vulnerability to Toxic Elements

Catherine Griffin, Science World Report.  “Sleep Loss Causes Brain Vulnerability to Toxic Elements”. 10 June 2014

Why do we sleep? That’s a good question, and scientists may have part of the answer. It turns out that sleep loss can cause certain neurotoxic molecules that usually circulate in the blood to be transported to the central nervous system and interfere with the function of neurons.

More …

Sleep’s role in memory formation discovered:  do you get enough?

Carmen Fishwick, The Guardian.  “Sleep’s role in memory formation discovered:  do you get enough?”, 6 June 2014

Scientists have discovered how sleep is key to learning and forming new memories. With sleep being proven again and again to be vital to our psychological and physical health, are you worried you’re not getting enough?

More …

Sleep Emotionally Recalibrates the Brain

Sarah Takushi, Liberty Voice,, 30 March 2014

Sleep not only plays an important role in boosting energy levels, learning, and healing, but it is now believed sleep emotionally recalibrates the brain. The three main supporting arguments for the hypothesis that sleep—specifically REM sleep—is the brain’s emotional “recalibration button” were summarized in this year’s Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.

More …

Sleep Loss Increases Anxiety — Especially Among Worriers

Rick Nauert, PsychCentral,, 27 June 2013

Are you tired and grumpy and feel on the edge?  Do you catch yourself worrying more? Scientists have found that a lack of sleep, common in anxiety disorders, may play a key role in activating brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.

More …

Leave a Reply