Managing Fatigue For Supervisors & Gas Controllers

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Managing Fatigue
Training Program for Supervisors
and Gas Controllers
Managing Fatigue
For the Employee
What is Fatigue
Signs of fatigue
What causes fatigue
Fatigue mitigation strategies
Additionally, for the Supervisor
Fatigue regulations
Case Law Examples
Utility procedures
What is Fatigue
“A reduction in physical and/or mental
capability as the result of physical, mental or
emotional exertion which may impair nearly
all physical abilities including: strength;
speed; reaction time; coordination; decision
making; or balance.”
 Source: International Maritime Organization, Maritime Safety Committee Circular
Signs of Fatigue
Signs of Fatigue
Constant yawning
Blurred vision
Heavy or sore eyes
Poor concentration
Slowed reaction time
Poor judgment
Speech slurred
Headaches
Decreased ability to
exert force
Leg pain and cramps
Loss of appetite
Giddiness
Decreased ability to
pay attention
Irregular heart beats
Heaviness in arms and
legs
Decreased eye-hand
coordination
What Causes Fatigue
 Lack of Sleep
 Quality of Sleep
 Biological Clock (circadian rhythm) factors
 Shift work
 Extended Hours
 Health (diet and/or illness)
 Ingested chemicals (alcohol, drugs, caffeine)
Lack of Sleep (an off duty issue)
 Individuals’ needs are unique
 Recommended 7 – 8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period
 5 stages of Sleep
 Stage 1 – Light Sleep - less than 10% of a night's sleep. If
woken up, will claim was not asleep.
 Stages 2-4 – Deep Sleep - approximately 65% of a night’s
sleep metabolic rates vary between the stages
 Stage 5 - REM Sleep – Rapid Eye Movement Sleep –
approximately 25% of a night's sleep – most vivid dreams
 Each cycle takes about 90 minutes = 5-1/2 cycles per 8 hour
night
 Need all five stages for the body’s recovery from daily fatigue
Quality of Sleep (an off duty issue)
 Sleep should be Uninterrupted
 Try for long periods of sleep
 Short naps can improve alertness for a short
time (10 minute nap – alertness improved for
about an hour), but will not restore the body to
normal operation.
 One seven hour period of sleep is much more
restorative than seven one hour naps
 Try for sufficient sleep before any periods you
anticipate a sleep deficiency
Biological Clock
 Most animals (including Humans) follow a daily routine (song
birds in the morning, nocturnal animals, etc.)
 Called Circadian Rhythm
 Scientists have found that the time related information is
controlled within the hypothalamus region of the brain and
believe that it stimulates the production of a hormone called
Melatonin. The increase in melatonin levels corresponds
with the reduction in body temperature and alertness.
Biological Clock
 Human Circadian Rhythm is actually on a 25 hour clock.
 Did you ever notice it’s easier to stay up late than it is to
get up early?
 Jet Lag is a symptom of the body trying to reset the
biological clock to a new time zone.
 It is easier to “reset” when flying east to west (You get to
sleep-in in the morning) than when flying west to east
(You have to get up earlier than your internal clock
expects).
 The internal clock can only adjust by an hour or two each
day.
 This is helped by environmental cues (such as
darkness)
Biological Clock
Humans exhibit two “Troughs” or low points in alertness
 One between midnight and 6 am
 One between 2 and 4 pm
 Fatigue related motor vehicle accidents are:
 Twice as high at 2 pm as they are at 10 am
 Six times as high at 2 am as they are at 10 am
Biological Clock
 What do the following have in common?
•Three Mile Island
•Chernobyl
•Bhopal
•Exxon Valdez
The Midnight Shift
 1979 - Three Mile Island – 4 am local time - Pressure relief
valve opens dumping reactor coolant – control room
operators failed to recognize the event. Core meltdown
 1984 – Bhopal, India – shortly after midnight Methyl
Isocyantate Gas (MIC) leak kills 3,800
 1986 - Chernobyl Reactor disaster – 12:23 am – 1:28 am
local time - critical control room operator error in failing to
reset a controller. Core meltdown and release
 1989 – Exxon Valdez – 12:04 am ship hits Bligh Reef and
spills 10.8 Million gallons of oil
Shift Work
 Shift Work Considerations:
 Fixed shifts are better than rotating shifts.
 Fixed shifts allow the body to adjust to the new circadian
rhythm
 Rotating Shifts require constant adjustments
 If Rotating Shifts are required:
 Set up longer periods between rotation. Two to three
month rotations allow the body to adjust vs. weekly
rotations
 Rotate the shifts clockwise vs. counterclockwise (easier
to stay up later than to get up earlier)
 Consider 02:00 – 10:00, 10:00 – 18:00, 18:00 – 02:00 shifts
to allow each shift some sleep time during normal sleep
periods.
Shift Work
 Shift Workers experience sleep deficits as their bodies fight the
normal circadian rhythm and attempt to adjust to new
schedules
Extended Hours
 Normal work day and week = 8 hours per day and 5 days per
week
 Any schedule that requires more continuous hours or more
consecutive days should be considered extended or unusual
 Often used to maximize scarce personnel resources or during
response and recovery phase of emergencies.
 OSHA recommendations:
 Managers should limit use of extended hours
 Additional break periods or meals should be provided
 Tasks that require heavy physical labor should be
performed at the beginning of the shift
 Managers and Supervisors should diligently monitor for the
signs and symptoms of fatigue and plan for adequate
replacement personnel
Extended Hours
 A study by sleep researchers in Australia found that:
 A person kept awake for 17 hours will exhibit behaviors
and performance of someone with a Blood Alcohol
Concentration (BAC) of 0.05
 A person kept awake for 24 hours will exhibit behaviors
and performance of someone with a BAC of 0.10
Health Issues (an off-duty issue)
 Fatigue can be associated with:
 Medical Conditions (such as heart problems) and
 Illness (common cold or fever)
 Diet can affect feelings of fatigue
 Refined sugars can cause a short term energy boost but
are often followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar levels
causing weakness and instability
 Eating a large meal before bedtime can disrupt sleep
 Psychological Issues of stress or family worries can disrupt
sleep
 There are Sleep Disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea
(waking up suddenly due to interrupted breathing)
Ingesting Chemicals (an off duty issue)
 Some medications can aggravate fatigue issues by causing
drowsiness
 Caffeine can give short duration alertness but has side
affects such as hypertension, headaches, mood swings and
anxiety
 Alcohol is a depressant and should logically help someone
sleep. However, the important REM sleep is disrupted
preventing body recovery.
Fatigue Mitigation Strategies
 Develop a pre-sleep routine (warm shower, reading a book)
 Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool environment
 Avoid alcohol prior to sleep
 Avoid caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep
 Eat regular, well balanced meals
 Drink a sufficient amount of water
 Exercise regularly
 Get enough proper sleep
Fatigue Mitigation Strategies
 For Shift Workers who need to sleep during the day:
 Make sleep a priority during off-duty hours
 Install room darkening shades in the bedroom
 Decrease room temperature
 Consider ear plugs to block outside noise
 Put a Do Not Disturb sign outside the door
 Unplug the telephone
 Do not exercise prior to sleeping. It raises body
temperature and heart rate
Fatigue Mitigation Strategies
 For Shift Workers who need to stay alert during their shift:
 Exercise when feeling fatigue
 Schedule short breaks
 Avoid unhealthy foods during the shift
 Never rely on medications to enhance alertness
 Exercise caution when driving home
Fatigue Issues for Supervisors
Fatigue Regulations
 U.S. Labor Dept. Wage & Hour Laws
 Social policy to create more jobs and provide disincentive for
overtime
 Time & a Half
 Does not limit the number of hours that an employee can be
required to work nor the number of days in a week.
 [Insert state requirements]
 OSHA Regulations
 None
Fatigue Regulations
 DOT Regulations
 CDL Driver rest periods are mandated
 Gas Control Room Management regulation 49CFR192.615(d):

“Each operator must implement the following methods to reduce the
risk associated with controller fatigue….
1. Establish shift lengths and schedule rotations that provide
controllers off duty time sufficient to achieve eight hours of
continuous sleep;
2. Educate Controllers and Supervisors in fatigue mitigation
strategies and how off-duty activities contribute to fatigue
3. Train Controllers and Supervisors to recognize the effects of
fatigue
4. Establish a maximum limit on Controller hours-of-service, which
may provide an emergency deviation from the maximum limit if
necessary for the safe operation of a pipeline facility”.
Case Law Examples
Pilgrim v. Fortune Drilling Company
 Employee worked 12 on / 24 hour off shift with a three hour commute
each way
 Supervisor knew he was exhausted but let him drive home.
 Employee hit another vehicle
 victim sued the employer claiming company should have supervised the
employee
 Suit thrown out on appeal
Case Law Examples
BUT
Robertson v. Lemasters




Employee worked 27 hours, no break
again accident on the way home
victim sued employer and won
There was an unreasonable risk of injury - The employer should have
supervised the employee and found alternate transportation home.
Case Law Examples
AND
Truitt v. J. H. Kelly Construction Co.
 “Sleepless in Seattle” case
 Employee worked 36 hours straight
 On his way home he fell asleep, veered off the road flipped the car and
slammed into a telephone pole.
 Survived but permanent Brain Damage
 Case was settled.
 Employer should have driven him home or put him up in a motel.
Workers Compensation
 Designed to limit Liability lawsuits
 Worker does not have to show negligence on the part of the employer to
collect Worker's Comp. must show only that injury arose out of employment
 In turn, Worker gives up the right to sue the employer for damages - Called
the Worker's Compensation Bar
Case Law Examples
Krushwitz v. McDonalds
 18 year old employee worked a 3:30 – 8 pm shift and then volunteered
to work from midnight until 8:21 am, was exhausted and told Supervisor
he was too tired to work an upcoming afternoon shift.
 Supervisor knew he was exhausted but let him drive home
 He fell asleep at the wheel, hit another vehicle head on and was killed.
His family sued the employer
 Employer used the defense that the Workers Compensation Bar
applied, that the accident was work related and that Workers
Compensation was the only recourse. The circuit court agreed. But this
was ultimately overturned by the State Supreme Court.
 Interpretation - Workers Comp does not apply during the employee's
commuting period. But the employer can still be held liable under a
wrongful death charge for the actions of their employees after work.
Utility Policy
Insert discussion of utility procedures.
References
 “Driver fatigue - an accident waiting to happen”, by academy staff of the
Australian Academy of Science, June 2006
 “Guidance on Fatigue Mitigation and Management”, MSC (Marine Safety
Committee) Circular 1014, International Maritime Organization, June 12, 2001
 “Extended/Unusual Work Shifts”, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), September, 2, 2004
 “Sleepless in Seattle: injured worker’s case shows hazards of fatigue”, Shoop,
Julie Gannon, Publication: “Trial”, Dec. 1, 1993
 “Personal & Financial Health” Scott, Diane E., RN MSN, Vermont Nurse
Connection, Feb. 1, 2008
 “Circadian Rhythms and Shift Work” American College of Emergency Physicians,
September 2003
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