Prevalence of Operator Fatigue in Winter Maintenance Operations

Similar to commercial motor vehicle drivers, winter maintenance operators are likely to be at an increased risk of becoming fatigued while driving due to long, inconsistent shifts, environmental stressors, and limited opportunities for sleep. Despite this risk, there is little research concerning the prevalence of winter maintenance operator fatigue during winter emergencies. The purpose of this research was to investigate the prevalence, sources, and countermeasures of fatigue in winter maintenance operations. Questionnaires from 1043 winter maintenance operators and 453 managers were received from 29 Clear Road member states. Results confirmed that fatigue was prevalent in winter maintenance operations. Over 70% of the operators and managers believed that fatigue has a moderate to significant impact on winter maintenance operations. Approximately 75% of winter maintenance operators reported to at least sometimes drive while fatigued, and 96% of managers believed their winter maintenance operators drove while fatigued at least some of the time. Furthermore, winter maintenance operators and managers identified fatigue countermeasures and sources of fatigue related to winter maintenance equipment. However, the countermeasures believed to be the most effective at reducing fatigue during winter emergencies (i.e., naps) were underutilized. For example, winter maintenance operators reported to never use naps to eliminate fatigue. These results indicated winter maintenance operations are impacted by operator fatigue. These results support the increased need for research and effective countermeasures targeting winter maintenance operator fatigue.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01703289
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2019 3:05PM