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Document ID (ISN)112063
CIS number 11-0733
ISSN - Serial title 0003-6870 - Applied Ergonomics
Year 2011
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Dorrian J., Baulk S.D., Dawson D.
Title Work hours, workload, sleep and fatigue in Australian rail industry employees
Bibliographic information 2011, Vol.42, p.202-209. Illus. 38 ref.
Abstract This study investigated fatigue in a cross-sectional sample of Australian rail employees. Participants included 85 men and five women from four companies. Data were analysed for a total of 713 shifts. Subjects wore wrist actigraphs, evaluated their subjective fatigue scale, and completed sleep and work diaries for 14-days. Average sleep length, prior wake at shift end, shift duration and fatigue were within limits generally considered acceptable from a fatigue perspective. However, 13% of participants received 5h or less sleep in the prior 24 h, 16%, were awake for at least 16h at the end of shift and 7% worked at least 10h on 7% of shifts. While on average, sleep loss, extended wakefulness, longer work hours and work-related fatigue do not appear problematic in this sample, there is still a notable percentage of shifts that are likely to be associated with high levels of work-related fatigue. Given the size of the Australian rail sector with thousands of shifts occurring each day, this is potentially of operational concern. Further, results indicate that, in addition to sleep length, wakefulness and work hours, workload significantly influences fatigue. This has possible implications for bio-mathematical predictions of fatigue and for fatigue management more generally.
Descriptors (primary) Australia; fatigue; fatigue assessment; rail transport; risk factors
Descriptors (secondary) vigilance tasks; hours of work; shift work; sleep deprivation; subjective assessment; cross-sectional study
Document type D - Periodical articles
Subject(s) Transport and communications
Occupational physiology
Broad subject area(s) Physiology, ergonomics
Industries and occupations
Browse category(ies) Rail transportation
Hours of work
Risk evaluation