Over the last several weeks, we have run a whirlwind tour through the basic framework of a Fatigue Risk Management System. If you have kept pace week to week, you should be all done. Just kidding. But hopefully you have begun to formulate some ideas on getting started or have even taken the first steps into engaging leadership on the concept. For those of you who may have already done some work on different phases, you may be working on integrating those parts into a more concise system.
As a wrap-up until next time, I will leave you with a few key ideas:
Beware of the silver bullet (especially if you’re a Lycanthrope….Google it for more info). The silver bullet can come in many different forms but it is usually a good idea at the heart. Sometimes it is technology. Sometimes it is a process. Whatever it is, don’t think that any one fatigue countermeasure eliminates your risk for fatigue and distraction on its own. More and more, I’m finding that within each layer of protection, more than one countermeasure is needed to optimize the mitigation of fatigue. And even then, no single layer of protection can stand alone, no matter how comprehensively it is implemented. As an example, implementing even a wide range of fatigue mitigating technologies will yield lower returns if the culture into which it is implemented is negative.
Don’t use an axe when you need a scalpel. Sometimes we believe that if we just blanket our workforce with massive amounts of information, some of it will sink in or at least be received by those who need it. While in theory this is true, it can also dilute the message. Take care to craft your communications and target your solutions to those individuals or groups that will benefit most from it.
Hare vs. Tortoise. As you begin to implement your FRMS, keep in mind that this is a marathon. While you will expect to see progress in the short term, sustaining it takes perseverance, integrated systems and dedication. Also be aware of overwhelming people with new programs, information and systems. We are still humans (except for those Lycanthropes. Did you Google it yet?) and need time to ingest and digest new things. This also means that a regular drip of information is important for long term retention and sustainability.
Check your work. Again. I have beat this drum in previous posts and I’m doing it again….you must check your progress. You have no way of knowing whether the work you are doing is having an impact if you don’t reassess after a countermeasure is implemented. Even if this check is a cursory review of data or a short survey, you will gain insight into the effectiveness of the work you are doing. I’d prefer a more in depth analysis, but sometimes this isn’t always possible. If you have set up your FRMS properly, you should already have identified the metrics for success.
For those of you who did keep pace through all the posts and jumped to work right away and think you’re done, you might want to go back and have a deeper dive….If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email.