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Fatigue and Alertness

Keeping the rail industry alert

Whether you work in an office or on the front line, drive your car home from work or a train full of passengers, you need to be awake and alert to do your job safely and efficiently.  Managing fatigue is everybody’s responsibility. Our aim is to make sure that everyone, at all levels, understands their role in managing fatigue. Based on our research and consultation, we have put together a range of resources to help with this.

Fatigue is a state of weariness because of working for too long, working against our body clock, heavy physical or mental workload, insufficient rest or inadequate sleep. Fatigue can develop quickly, for example if we are doing heavy lifting. But it can also develop slowly, for example if we lose an hour of sleep a few nights in a row. The environment we work in and what we eat and drink can influence how quickly we start to suffer from fatigue.

Fatigued people are very likely to make mistakes.  The effects of serious fatigue are comparable to being over the drink driving limit: poor judgements, slow reactions, poor memory, impaired vision.

In our industry fatigue is a factor in 20% of high risk incidents. Long term exposure to fatigue is associated with health problems.

Managing fatigue is everybody’s responsibility, both morally and legally. We have developed guidance and tools to help you manage fatigue. You can explore these by clicking on the topic areas below. Each topic area is targeted at different functions or roles related to fatigue risk management.

Planning and rostering

Planning and rostering is a key aspect of managing fatigue risk. 'View topic' to see our guidance.

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Supervision and line management

People who have supervision and management duties play an important role in managing fatigue risk. 'View topic' to see our guidance and resources.

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Fatigue risk management systems

This topic area is about setting up and running a fatigue risk management system. It is mainly aimed at senior managers.

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Incident investigation

Incident investigations provide companies with information about whether its fatigue risk management arrangements are working. 'View topic' to see our guidance on investigating fatigue here.

View topic

Haven't found what you're looking for?

Get in touch with our Lead Human Factors Specialist for more information on all aspects of Fatigue.

Dan Basacik

Tel: 020 3142 5633

Dan.Basacik@RSSB.CO.UK