Application of a portable test battery in the assessment of fatigue in laboratory and worksite studies of 12-hour shifts.
Scand J Work, Environ & Health 1992 Jun; 18(Suppl 2):113-115
Laboratory and worksite studies of worker fatigue for 8 hour and 12 hour shifts were summarized. Field studies were conducted at two worksites using rotating shift workers. The first was a power generating facility where control room operators performed sedentary, mentally demanding tasks. The second worksite was a natural gas utility where control room operators also performed sedentary, mentally demanding tasks. The utility of a test battery for long term, around the clock worksite assessments was determined. The test battery appeared to be appropriate for this use, as judged by the findings. Consistent declines were observed in alertness after shift length was increased by 50% at both worksites. These declines were most noticeable when lowered circadian arousal potentiates fatigue resulting from hours of work. The authors stress the importance of scheduling critical or hazardous activities early in the shift, when possible, in order to minimize the risk of fatigue related errors or accidents.
NIOSH-Author; Job-stress; Shift-workers; Mental-stress; Fatigue; Circadian-rhythms; Work-intervals; Workplace-studies; Power-generation; Shift-work
Dr RR Rosa, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health