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Fatigue at Sea: Wearable technology

Posted on: 11 February 2020

Sleepiness and fatigue is a major factor impacting accidents at sea, says Louise Hall, Director of Loss Prevention at the Shipowners’ Club in a recent update.

As such, the Club has partnered with Sleep and Fatigue Research Ltd (Safr) to investigate whether wearable technology can be utilised by shipping companies to identify fatigue hotspots within their operations.

Over the past few years, several of the Club’s loss prevention initiatives have identified sleepiness and long-term fatigue to be recognised as a major factor impacting accidents at sea. In order to understand this causation factor further, the Club has partnered with Safr on an innovative project to investigate whether wearable technology can be utilised in the marine environment to assist the mitigation of this risk by enabling shipping companies to identify fatigue hotspots within their operations.

Fatigue is widely acknowledged to be a problem in safety-critical industries. It affects error rates, accident rates, health and wellbeing, and staff retention. It impacts cognitive ability, decision-making, risk behaviour, and much more.

Some of the Study’s findings are:
It was found that workers who obtain less than five hours sleep a night are more than three times as likely to be involved in an accident.

After 17 hours of being awake, performance can be reduced to the same extent as if the individual were over the drink-driving limit.

Up to 25% of fatal road accidents are wholly or partly a result of driver fatigue (ROSPA / DfT).
Moreover, it is now clear that lack of sleep is not just associated with increased rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and many other physical and mental health problems; it has been shown to be a cause of them.

Follow this link to the full article.

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