11-05: Environmental Factors Causing Fatigue in Snowplow Operators

Factors Causing FatigueProblem

During winter events, equipment operators work long, stressful hours, and fatigue can be a major problem resulting in higher accident rates, lower productivity and increased health issues. Reducing equipment operator fatigue during winter operations could increase safety, reduce employee absences and improve operator efficiency. This project looked at the environmental stimuli that contribute the most to operator fatigue and recommended practical, low-cost mitigation solutions. Focus areas included: (i) work and rest schedules for drivers and how they relate to driver fatigue and incidents, both when operating trucks with and without advanced in-cab instrumentation, (ii) the causes of fatigue-related incidents, and (iii) applicable functional countermeasures to reduce fatigue and potential incidents.

Objective

The goal was to develop a series of cost effective, realistic recommendations for reducing or eliminating fatigue that impacts equipment operators during winter operations.

Results

Recommendations on some cost-effective solutions to mitigate driver fatigue and potential avenues for further research.

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