Work package 1

Assemble knowledge on fatigue, reduced vigilance and monotony as a problem in Norwegian transport operations

The literature reveals a need for greater knowledge on the prevalence, causes, outcomes and management of fatigue in different transport sectors, organisations and job roles in Norway.

This would enable the identification of knowledge gaps that future research needs to fill, if the problem of fatigue is to be tackled by more effective regulation and management. By comparing and contrasting prevalence, causes and outcomes in different situations, challenges that are shared and unique for different types of sector, organisation and job role could be documented, to inform future regulation and management. What are the sectoral conditions that cause fatigue? What is the extent of the problem in different sectors and organisations? What are the practices that need to be regulated and managed at organisational level? Such a body of knowledge is provided by this WP, which will serve as background for the rest of the project.

The broad range of material will be covered using three methods:

  1. Extensive literature review
  2. Two-hour interviews with representative experts, at least three each from the road, rail, sea and air sectors, and one from airport security
  3. Small-scale survey of operators of six different transport forms, selected based on parts 1 and 2 to represent a range of fatigue-related challenges (n = 50 for each transport form).

The interview schedule will be designed based on the literature review and advice from the Reference Group, and developed and piloted in-house before use. We intend cover drivers of all road transport forms who work for small, medium and large representative organizations in the road sector, where increasing size may be in line with regulatory challenge.

In the maritime sector, we will choose small boats, large fishing vessels, offshore service vessels and ferries as representative of the range of challenges in this sector. In the rail sector, we will focus on engine drivers and control room operators, and in the air sector on airport security staff. We will also investigate the possibility of including airplane pilots; although fatigue is relatively well regulated in airlines, a Norwegian survey would be useful for the purposes of comparison of airlines with other national sectors, and of Norwegian airlines with those of other countries.

Findings from the literature and subsequent interviews will be integrated into a report comparing and contrasting the prevalence, causes and outcomes of fatigue for different transport forms. They will also serve as the basis of the small-scale survey of different transport forms, which will in turn serve to quantify differences and similarities between roles and transport forms. Existing FMPs pay little attention to the inherent properties of the transport operator task. This is particularly important in transport, where safety dictates that the task must be well-controlled, and therefore often monotonous.

An important part of any FMP in this sector could be an in-depth consideration of the task, to measure the level of monotony it imposes on the operator, and to redesign the task as necessary. Technology introduced to help the operator, but which often increases monotony, or the need for sustained vigilance, is particularly relevant here.

To increase the knowledge base, a better documentation of the contribution of specific tasks and associated technology to reduced vigilance is required in the context of different transport operator tasks, such that measures to improve monotony without compromising safety may be developed and incorporated as part of an FMP.

There is sufficient information in the existing literature to allow this knowledge to be gathered. Members from the Reference Group from road-, rail-, air- and maritime sectors will ensure the project has sector relevance and advise on the planning and analysis phases in WP1. Findings from WP1 will inform WP2a (in-depth, large-scale seafarer survey), and 3 (demonstration FMP in road sector). 


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