Shocker – Fatigue Risk Same As Alcohol Risk
Can fatigue risk be similar to alcohol risk? There were many questions, comments, and web traffic on this blog from the post last week on Fatigue Risk Management. I thought research on Google would aid me in finding some other material.
I came across an interesting study on the effects of fatigue as compared to alcohol consumption. I thought there would only be an inference that fatigue and alcohol consumption would be related to a Risk Management viewpoint. I was shocked to find a study that was actually able to equate a period of time with a level of alcohol consumption. See the study here.
This should be an eye-opener for Risk Managers from all types of industry and governmental organizations. The study was performed in Australia in 1997. The website lists different conclusions on relating fatigue vs. alcohol risks. The main conclusion was there is no difference in motor skills between someone with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .1% and sleep deprivation for 24 hours.
I am assuming they did not use .08% as a marker as the overall BAC for a DUI was .1% at the time. There is a chart on the page that would show a .08% alcohol equivalent at 20 – 21 hours without sleep. As mentioned in my last post on this subject, there can be a cumulative effect for sleep deprivation where even shorter amounts of deprivation in succession would add up to result in the same effect. The last post also pointed out that there are other things that enhance fatigue as an additive effect on a lack of sleep.
I think this area will have a revival of sorts as Risk Managers look to reduce Workers Comp accidents in the future. I doubt any Safety Departments or Risk Managers would let someone work on a job with a .08% alcohol level = 20 hours without sleep.
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