Fatigue Federal agencies Oil and gas Mining_Oil_Gas

NIOSH proposes project to assess worker fatigue in oil and gas extraction

Photo: ahopueo/iStockphoto

Washington — NIOSH is seeking public and interagency input on a proposed information-collecting project focused on assessing fatigue and fatigue management in onshore oil and gas extraction.

According to a notice published in the Aug. 3 Federal Register, the project would evaluate oil and gas extraction workers’ sleep, fatigue and other related factors, as well as their relationship to industry-associated risks.

NIOSH says fatigue can slow workers’ reaction times, reduce attention or concentration, limit short-term memory, and impair judgment. Any worker experiencing high levels of fatigue faces “serious consequences” to their safety and health. Fatigue is often associated with nonstandard schedules, such as night shifts and extended work hours.


The agency’s goals for the project:

  • Better understand the extent to which fatigue and its antecedents affect workers, especially those employed by small contractor companies.
  • Identify worker and work design factors to consider when developing and implementing fatigue management strategies.
  • Determine the state of Fatigue Risk Management Systems and other mitigation strategies in place, and if these are associated with better outcomes.

Data would be collected via direct measurements of sleep and alertness among workers; questionnaires on worker demographics, occupation, general health, commute times, physical sleeping environment, home life and typical sleep quality; and interviews with workers, frontline supervisors, health and safety leaders, and subject matter experts.

Comments on the proposed project are due Oct. 3.

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