September 14, 2005 | Mark Paradies

FATIGUE DISCUSSION

What is one of the most difficult tasks that an investigator faces? Deciding if fatigue is an issue when investigating an incident or an accident.

I e-mailed Bill Sirois, Sr. VP at Circadian Technologies, about an investigation that a TapRooT(R) User was performing and he sent me the following response:

What is one of the most difficult tasks that an investigator faces? Deciding if fatigue is an issue when investigating an incident or an accident.

I e-mailed Bill Sirois, Sr. VP at Circadian Technologies, about an investigation that a TapRooT(R) User was performing and he sent me the following response:

Mark,

Why did a veteran, experienced lineman pick up the live wire and electrocute himself? ??



Why did the fork lift operator run into a support column and bring the roof down on his head???




The common element between these incidents, and the incident that your TapRooT(R) User was investigating, was??that they all occurred between 3am and 6am and on a long or extended shift.??




Under normal sleep-wake circumstances, there is a 15 times greater risk of human error in those pre-dawn hours than at any other time of day. That risk increases dramatically when one has been awake 20-22 hours prior to the incident – not even working, just awake!

Given the length of shift and time of day, cognitive and logical reasoning are prone to fail, and experience/ good judgment are radically compromised by mental fatigue.??



The more “tireder” we become, the “stupider” we get!

Regards,

Bill

– – –

System Improvements and Circadian Technologies are working to develop a set of questions to help investigators identify fatigue issues and to help them decide when they need professional assistance with particularly serious accident investigations.

Bill Sirois will be talking about this new effort at the TapRooT(R) Summit in April of 2006. He will be a part of the following tracks:

Human Performance and behavior Change Best Practices

Medical Error Reduction Best Practices

Advanced Investigation Skills

Certified TapRooT(R) Instructor Best Practices

For more Summit information see: http://www.taproot.com/summit

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