Roster design and work schedules, if poorly designed or managed ineffectively, are associated with a variety of psychosocial and physiological problems that can affect the health and well-being of workers. As recognised by the Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA), the impact of fatigue in the Pipeline industry is gaining increasing prominence in terms of its effects and management strategies. This paper focuses on a review of the research literature pertaining to fatigue and the impact of sleep on fatigue, and the relationship with roster cycle length.
Recommendations are provided for fatigue and sleep management strategies. Based on the research reviewed, there is limited evidence to suggest that a longer cycle is less safe or results in higher levels of fatigue, rather pre-existing fatigue and adequate sleep must be managed effectively. These results provide support for active fatigue management to have the ability to reduce the risk of accidents and incidents that are assumed with longer roster cycles. Further, it is recognised that there is very limited research available focused specifically on the impact of roster cycle length on worker fatigue in the Pipeline industry.
TMS Consulting has been engaged by APIA to conduct a Fatigue Management Study (FMS) to identify the impact of fatigue in the Pipeline industry, in particular its relationship to roster cycle length, and to test strategies around managing fatigue. Results from this study will provide valuable intelligence for the Pipeline industry, and inform improvements in fatigue management.
To download the full paper on Fatigue and its Relationship to Cycle Length, please click here.