Fatigue Roster Analysis and The Context of Fatigue Within The Roster

Understanding roster-related fatigue is a key component of effectively managing fatigue risk within your operation. Through using bio-mathematical fatigue models, the impact of the schedule on sleep, wake and circadian factors can be estimated. However, other important factors, such as the impact of roster changes, the effect of standby periods, and the fatigue associated with workload during different tasks, time of day or days of the week, are not effectively captured within a traditional roster analysis. 

Questions You May Have

  • Are we effectively managing fatigue within our roster? 
  • How does workload impact on fatigue for our personnel? 
  • Are our rostering processes, procedures and guidance sufficient and effective? 
  • Do we need to adjust the sleep assumptions made by fatigue models, to reflect our specific population and gain more accurate results? 
  • What can we improve to ensure that we are meeting best practice for fatigue risk management? 

Our Approach

In order to address these roster-related factors that are not directly captured by a bio-mathematical roster analysis, our approach combines the strengths of the fatigue model with other data collection methods, to ensure that all factors are considered appropriately. The other data can also be used to check assumptions made within the model, for example normal bedtimes, average commuting times, and whether or not it is possible to nap during breaks at work.

A bio-mathematical fatigue model is used to analyse the planned and actual schedules to provide the answers to the following questions:

  • What features of our planned and actual schedules are consistently contributing to elevated fatigue levels? 
  • What is the impact of on-the-day delays or operational changes on fatigue? 
  • How do fatigue levels change per month and seasonally? 
  • Do our different bases, fleets, or different contracts have different fatigue profiles? 
  • Are we continually improving? 

We also undertake focus groups and interviews with key individuals in the operation – including front-line personnel, those in rostering / scheduling, allocations and crewing roles who work with the roster every day, safety and fatigue representatives. These focus groups and interviews will explore factors such as: 

  • What are your experiences of working the schedule? 
  • Where are the highest and lowest workload points within the operation? 
  • How well do you sleep before and after duties / shifts at different times? 
  • How is the schedule prepared each roster period, and how are changes managed?  
  • What is the workload level of those creating and managing the schedule? 

These two elements of complementary data collection are supported with a review of rostering manuals and guidance material that are used by your rostering and scheduling teams, to identify effective processes, and any gaps to best practice within your industry.  

Our Experience

At Baines Simmons, we have over 15 years of experience in using bio-mathematical fatigue models, including analysis for: 

  • Large long-haul carriers
  • Short-haul airlines with busy schedules 
  • On-demand and emergency services providers
  • Airline maintenance organisations
  • The energy sector, including on-shore and off-shore

We have a suite of fatigue metrics, and can work with you to develop bespoke metrics to suit your specific needs. Using the data and results of the analysis, we can work with you to develop Safety Performance Indictors (SPIs) to enable on-going tracking of schedule related fatigue in key areas for your fatigue risk management.  

Part of Our FRM Pathway

Collecting data on fatigue associated with the working pattern is an essential component of understanding your fatigue risks, and how effectively you are managing them. Fatigue model analyses can be undertaken at any point in your journey, from when you are initially beginning to understand fatigue, before you invest in a model to use within your FRMS, or to provide input prior to a large schedule change that occurs infrequently. For those operators with significant FRM experience, the fatigue model can be used in support of a safety case argument, or as part of a scientific study of an exemption from published working time limitations, where permitted. 

This service specifically focuses on your scheduling and rostering processes – for a more holistic assessment of your entire FRM, please see our FRM Diagnostic service.