Sun, Mar 07, 2010
Cites Lack Of Good Diagnostic Tools For Personal Limits
On Friday, NTSB Chairman Deborah
A.P. Hersman encouraged the sleep research and healthcare community
to continue their efforts to educate transportation policy makers
of the dangers of fatigue in all modes of transportation.
Speaking before the annual conference of the National Sleep
Foundation in Washington, DC, Chairman Hersman remarked that
fatigue has been a concern for the Board since the creation of the
agency in 1967 and it has been an issue on the Board's Most Wanted
List of Transportation Safety Improvements since the list was
established in 1990.
"The work of the National Sleep Foundation and other
organizations and individuals is critical to improving
transportation safety policy," said Hersman. "The NTSB is
interested and willing to partner with you in developing a greater
awareness of fatigue."
Hersman highlighted a number of accident investigations across
all transportation modes that included fatigue as the probable
cause or a contributing factor to accidents. As a result, the Board
has made safety recommendations that range from deploying fatigue
detection systems to reduce the occurrence of accidents to
installing electronic on-board recorders that collect and maintain
hours of service data on vehicle operators.
"We can't always prove fatigue as a cause of an accident, but
the frequency with which we now routinely document the presence of
fatigue-related factors in transportation operations is alarming,"
Hersman remarked that while there are still no definitive tools
to conclusively identify the degree to which a person is fatigued,
the major challenge is to ensure that all those in transportation
report to work rested and fit for duty -- for their own safety and
for the safety of those they are transporting.
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