Fatigue management - Case study
The client, an organisation operating in the transport sector, had invested heavily in a fatigue assessment methodology developed by a competitor. However, they were still experiencing a number of incidents that they analysed as being fatigue related. In addition, there was new transport industry and rail safety legislation focusing heavily on the proactive management of fatigue. Despite this, the client did not have a method of identifying at risk individuals or obtaining objective, science based data around actual fatigue risk levels across the organisation.
Over the last 2 years, Deloitte has been fostering a relationship with Fatigue Science, a US company based in Hawaii. Fatigue Science has a scientific approach to assessing fatigue risk based on a predictive modelling tool developed in cooperation with the US transport industry. The tool has been rated as the most accurate in the global market and has been widely used in the US. Fatigue Science has also developed the ‘Sleep Band’ which measures wrist movements as well as the sleep / wake states of individuals to determine their performance effectiveness and to measure their levels of fatigue impaiment.
Sleep Bands were worn by over 100 of the client’s employees in a safety critical area that monitored train positions and placement 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. People wore the Sleep Bands for a period of 14 days, after which they were presented with an individual report detailing their sleep and wake patterns over the period as well as the associated performance scores and equivalent blood alcohol levels.
While some employees were able to obtain sufficient sleep, others were below the recommended 8 hours sleep per day. Overall, the group assessment results revealed that there was a requirement for an average of 30 minutes increase in daily sleep to significantly enhance the effectiveness of the workforce. In line with the results of our initial assessment, fatigue risk mitigation training was delivered to the client’s employees to provide them with the knowledge and tools to change their sleep patterns, improve their sleep duration and sleep quality.
Deloitte, in conjunction with Fatigue Science, has managed to significantly reduce the level of fatigue risk faced by the client’s employees by achieving an average increased daily sleep of 20 minutes across the group, with one business area increasing daily sleep by a full 1 hour.
The client has developed a better understanding of its fatigue exposure and formulated a strategy to achieve improved effectiveness of the workforce. Further, the results of this study can be used by the client to demonstrate that it is actively seeking ways to reduce its fatigue risk profile, and proactively manage employee health and wellbeing.