Focus on Fatigue

Impacts of Fatigue in the Workplace

By July 16, 2020 No Comments

Issue #64 – July 2020

Welcome to Focus on Fatigue!

While some workplaces have slowed down in recent months, here at InterDynamics we have been working hard on the latest version of FAID Quantum. In this month’s Focus on Fatigue we introduce you to FAID Quantum v1.1 and its new capability. We will also look at some of the potential, measurable impacts that fatigue can have in a workplace.

The FRMS Team



InterDynamics Pty Ltd
320 Adelaide Street Brisbane Qld 4000
Tel +61 7 3229 8300

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).


InterDynamics News

New Version FAID Quantum

We are pleased to announce that InterDynamics are releasing FAID Quantum v1.1. This new version includes an exciting new feature allowing external results data to be imported and reviewed in conjunction with predicted FAID and/or Karolinkska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) Scores at that time.

This allows the possibility of analysing data and reviewing if fatigue is a factor relating to events such as: accidents, incidents, errors, near misses, excessive braking, complaints, absenteeism or sick leave.

This analysis can play an important step in developing a Fatigue Risk Management System and assist in informing an appropriate fatigue tolerance threshold for different tasks and environments.

The external results feature also allows external measures of fatigue, such as self-reported KSS and PVT results, to be analysed against predicted KSS and FAID Scores to review correlation.

Some of the ways that this capability has already been put to use are featured in the below article.


Impacts of Fatigue in the Workplace


The dangers of fatigue in the workplace in relation to safety are well recognised and shown in many studies. Here is one example where an organisation has used a large data set of incidents and analysed this data against hours of work fatigue scores, using FAID Quantum. An increasing trend of incident rates (incidents per million hours worked) was identified with increases of FAID Scores beyond 40 and KSS Scores beyond 7.While much of the discussion around workplace fatigue focuses on risk of incidents and injury, safety is not the only concern when it comes to workplace fatigue. The other effects of fatigue in the workplace may be more subtle and sometimes go unnoticed or unacknowledged. However, they can still have a considerable impact on an organisation.


One study¹, using FAID Quantum, looked at U.S. police rosters and found a correlation between fatigue and public complaints. The study concluded that “greater predicted fatigue and sleepiness levels, and reduced 24 hr sleep estimates increased the odds of a public complaint against an officer. Consecutive night shifts increased predicted fatigue, reduced 24 hr sleep estimates and increased odds of a public complaint against an office. Off-duty court hours further restricted sleep estimates, further increased predicted fatigue, and further increased the odds of a public complaint.”


Another recent study², using FAID Quantum, looked at U.S. police officers and absenteeism. This study found that greater predicted sleepiness was associated with higher odds of absenteeism the next workday, in particular for afternoon and night shift workers. Absenteeism has a flow on impact on an organisation through staff shortage, management time, lost productivity and decreased morale.

Driver Efficiency

In examining the effects of fatigue on train drivers (loco engineers), one study³ found a significant correlation between predicted fatigue scores and fuel use. Drivers in the moderate fatigue group used 4% more, and drivers in the high fatigue group used 9% more fuel than drivers in the low group. Therefore the cost of fuel significantly increased when using high fatigue drivers. The study further found that high fatigue drivers engaged in more heavy brake and maximum speed violations. These variations in the high fatigue group represent a reduction in planning, efficiency and safety.

Developing a Fatigue Risk Management System

The potential impacts of fatigue in a workplace are far reaching. Identifying and understanding where fatigue may be impacting your business is one step in developing an appropriate Fatigue Risk Management System. You can read more about InterDynamics Risk-Based Approach to Fatigue Management here.


1. Dawson, D., Riedy, S & Vila, B. (2019), US Police Rosters: Fatigue and Public Complaints. Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 3,

2. Riedy, S., Dawson, D., Fekedulegn, D., Andrew, M., Vila, B., and Violanti, J. (2020), Fatigue and Short-term Unplanned Absences Among Police Officers, Policing: an International Journal,

3. Dorrian, J., Hussey, F., & Dawson, D. (2007) Train Driving Efficiency and Safety: Examining the Cost of Fatigue, Journal of Sleep Research, Volume 16, Issue 1,

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.


For Further Consideration

Work-related Fatigue and Job Design
Dr Carmel Harrington and Professor Drew Dawson, Safe Work Australia, 2016
In this seminar, Dr Carmel Harrington and Professor Drew Dawson examine why fatigue management is important from both a worker and a business perspective and what businesses and workers can do to manage the risks caused by fatigue in the workplace.

Fatigue Risk Management in the Workplace
ACOEM Task Force on Fatigue Risk Management, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2012
The purpose of this article is to provide information to assist OEM physicians in these roles. It is designed to provide background, key concepts, and references needed to promote and support an FRMS.


In the News

We’ll be challenging the rail industry – regulator speaks out on fatigued worker death
Ian Weinfass, Construction News, 10 June 2020
Railway contractors should prepare to be challenged over how they manage workers carrying out dangerous tasks while on long shifts.

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