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Safety implications of fatigue and sleep inertia for emergency services personnel
journal contributionposted on 20.04.2021, 01:48 by Drew DawsonDrew Dawson, Sally FergusonSally Ferguson, Grace VincentGrace Vincent
Emergency services present a unique operational environment for the management of fatigue and sleep inertia. Communities request and often expect the provision of emergency services on a 24/7/365 basis. This can result in highly variable workloads and/or significant need for on-demand or on-call working time arrangements. In turn, the management of fatigue-related risk requires a different approach than in other more predictable shift working sectors (e.g., mining and manufacturing). The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of fatigue risk management that is accessible to regulators, policy makers and organisations in the emergency services sector. The review outlines the unique fatigue challenges in the emergency services sector, examines the current scientific and policy consensus around managing fatigue and sleep inertia, and finally discusses strategies that emergency services organisations can use to minimise the risks associated with fatigue and sleep inertia.