PSHSA Takes Steps to Prevent Fatigue in the Workplace
PSHSA works with leading work-related injuries researcher to implement new Fatigue Science Readiband technology
TORONTO (October 13, 2015) – Fatigue in the workplace is a major health and safety issue that requires increased understanding of its impact and prevention. With its mandate to improve safety in the workplace, the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) is taking major steps to improve how fatigue will be prevented and handled in the workplace.
Today, PSHSA announced it is providing leading work-related injuries researcher, Lora Cavuoto with Fatigue Science Readibands, a wearable wrist-worn technology that monitors sleep, activity and fatigue. The goal is to gather data-driven research to understand the impact of fatigue and implement innovative solutions to prevent it as a workplace hazard.
Studies have shown that fatigue is about four times more likely to contribute to workplace impairment than drugs or alcohol, and a fatigued worker is at 70 per cent greater risk of accident than a non-fatigued worker.
“We know that fatigue in the workplace is a major health and safety issue,” said Glenn Cullen, VP Corporate Programs and Product Development, PSHSA. “We need to learn how to prevent fatigue in the workplace and new technology like Fatigue Science Readibands will help us develop effective Fatigue Risk Management Programs. We are aiming to develop ways to intervene before fatigue becomes a risk to the health and safety of workers and control the hazard once it has been identified.”
PSHSA is supplying researcher Cavuoto with Fatigue Science Readibands that provide 24/7 measurement of sleep patterns and mental fatigue. Wearing the Readibands, study participants will be asked to perform a set of tasks, with participants’ natural variation in sleep-related fatigue and work-load factored in to the experiment. With this data, Cavuoto will be able to estimate fatigue based on work schedule, sleep and work conditions, and test these findings in a real-life scenario.
The research will evaluate the interaction of sleep-based fatigue and workload in targeted industries that utilize shifts such as emergency services environments, nursing and manufacturing. This research will also evaluate fatigue mitigating interventions for the purpose of improving program effectiveness in the workplace.
“Today, we have little understanding of when and how fatigue intervention should be implemented,” said lead researcher Lora Cavuoto. “This research partnership with PSHSA will allow us to build first-of-its-kind fatigue interventions and customize them for particular industries, like fire departments, police and mining to name a few.”
The study is scheduled to begin in Fall 2015 and run through Summer 2016.
Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour and works with Ontario’s Public and Broader Public Sector employers and workers, providing training, consulting and resources to reduce workplace risks and prevent occupational injuries and illnesses.
About Fatigue Science
Founded in 2006 and based in Vancouver BC, Fatigue Science is a trusted pioneer in sleep and its relationship to human performance. Our platform quantifies the source and extent of fatigue in the workplace and helps mitigate risk related to that fatigue. As well, we work with sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Mavericks and Vancouver Canucks to provide technology-enabled, data-driven insights that help them perform better at game time.
About University of Buffalo
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 29,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.