Addressing Worker Fatigue Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas extraction industry continues to experience an elevated fatality rate. One of the most troubling aspects is the role of fatigue, particularly as the industry continues to experience the detrimental impacts of competitive business demands on safe behaviors at the individual and organizational levels. While API 755 FRMS focuses on sleep/shift, it does not address the high physical and cognitive demands that workers encounter.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Texas A&M, has conducted research on fatigue and will be discussing some of her learnings and how they apply in the workplace on June 20, during ASSE’s Safety 2017 conference. In “Addressing Worker Fatigue Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry,” Mehta will be aiming to help OSH professionals expand our fatigue-related knowledge and assessment skills. The goal is to help us build better evidence-based fatigue management practices that are adoptable and sustainable in oil and gas operations. According to Mehta, the session will help attendees 1) identify worker fatigue-related sources (such as sleep, shiftwork, physical demands, stress) and how they affect worker safety and health; 2) assess worker fatigue using feasible and reliable tools/techniques (subjective, physiological and performance based); 3) determine the framework within which potential fatigue mitigation strategies can be designed and sustained in oil and gas extraction operations; and 4) better understand the API 755 FRMS guidelines. Mehta’s research on fatigue-related work risk factors received recognition from the American Public Health Association and she was the Young Researcher Keynote speaker to the Berliner Werkstatt Mensch-Maschine-Systeme, so this promises to be a session filled with lots of facts and ideas for addressing worker fatigue.

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