Causes, consequences and countermeasures to driver fatigue in the rail industry: The train driver perspective

Filtness, A.J. & Naweed, A. (2017) Causes, consequences and countermeasures to driver fatigue in the rail industry: The train driver perspective. Applied Ergonomics, 60, pp. 12-21.

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Fatigue is an important workplace risk management issue. Within the rail industry, the passing of a stop signal (signal passed at danger; SPAD) is considered to be one of the most major safety breaches which can occur. Train drivers are very aware of the negative consequences associated with a SPAD. Therefore, SPADs provide a practical and applied safety relevant context within which to structure a discussion on fatigue. Focus groups discussing contributing factors to SPADs were undertaken at eight passenger rail organisations across Australia and New Zealand (n = 28 drivers). Data relating to fatigue was extracted and inductively analysed identifying three themes: causes, consequences, and countermeasures (to fatigue). Drivers experienced negative consequences of fatigue, despite existing countermeasures to mitigate it. Organisational culture was a barrier to effective fatigue management. A fatigue assessment tool consistently informed rostering, however, shift swapping was commonplace and often unregulated, reducing any potential positive impact. In discussing fatigue countermeasure strategies, drivers talked interchangeably about mitigating task related fatigue (e.g. increasing cognitive load) and sleepiness (e.g. caffeine). Ensuring the concepts of fatigue and sleepiness are properly understood has the potential to maximise safety.

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ID Code: 101765
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: train driving, rail safety, sleep, fatigue
DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.10.009
ISSN: 1872-9126
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: 2016 Elsevier
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2016 01:00
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2016 17:36

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