Taming the Dragon

The Fatigue NAGA™ - Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis


We’ve Got Fatigue Covered… I think?

There are two scenarios that we regularly encounter when meeting with a new client. The first scenario is when an organization suspects they have a fatigue problem, but they really don’t know the size or scope of the risk, or the origin of the fatigue. In the second, they are confident they are addressing fatigue because they have already established (for example):

  • Educational sessions for employees to improve safety, alertness, and well-being
  • Screening programs for sleep disorders
  • Shift schedules that are accepted by the employees
  • A napping policy that includes sleeping pods or recovery rooms

Maybe your company offers similar fatigue mitigation strategies. In both scenarios, there is a lack of structure and metrics. Sometimes it’s a lack of clearly identifying where the fatigue-related risks are. Sometimes it’s due to the lack of established targets, or measuring the impact of the controls that they have implemented. Sometimes, it’s simply the lack of a formal management system.

What strategies does your company have in place? More importantly, to what degree are your initiatives successfully addressing your current and future needs? Completing a Fatigue Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis (NAGA™) can help you answer these questions and provide you with the necessary metrics to drive the continuous improvement process.                                                                         

Needs Assessment

SIX Safety Systems’ fatigue specialists have a comprehensive approach to evaluate your current needs for fatigue mitigation. This involves a high-level fatigue risk assessment to establish the extent to which fatigue-related risks are present. Many variables can be considered to establish the level of risk:

  • Are there fatigue-related incidents?
  • What is the impact of fatigue on performance?
  • Are there worker or supervisor complaints or concerns related to fatigue?
  • Do schedules exceed recommended guidelines based on fatigue science?
  • Is napping hidden or not formally discussed?

The needs assessment will also consider the extent to which fatigue risk management is required for your organization. There may be applicable hours of service legislation, labor agreements, fatigue management plans, and/or industry standards/guidelines. Company culture is also reviewed to determine the extent to which both leadership and employees understand they have a responsibility to manage fatigue.

Gap Analysis

A gap analysis compares actual fatigue risk management performance by an organization with potential performance. SIX Safety has scanned a wide variety of industries to establish recommended practices. Your organization’s initiatives will be assessed against these benchmarks to determine how well your organization meets required or recommended fatigue risk standards.

What Gets Assessed?

The Fatigue NAGA looks for elements of a ‘management system’ to ensure your approach includes plan, do, check, act and involves continuous improvement.
The focus is aimed at gaps in the system rather than problems with the employees. The more information provided to SIX Safety, the more detailed the Fatigue NAGA.
SIX Safety reviews information from:

  • Review of documents (policies, procedures, collective agreements, training, risk assessment tools, etc.)
  • Surveys of employees and management on shifts, alertness strategies, health & wellness
  • Interviews with stakeholders (leadership, employees, shift schedulers, safety committees, trainers, etc.)
  • Site visits and ride-alongs to observe tasks and work environments
  • Shift schedules for biomathematical analysis
  • Job Demands Analyses of targeted activities
  • Incident reports, investigation methodologies, and statistics

Head in the Sand?

Some companies may be hesitant to conduct a Fatigue NAGA in fear of the problems that might be uncovered.  Once a problem is known, actions that cost time and money will be required to address it. Maybe if they don’t know there is a problem, they don’t need to address it? 

This “head in the sand” philosophy is ultimately a losing approach.  Risks are present whether you choose to pay attention to them or not.  Just because you don’t formally know about an issue, it does not excuse you from responsibility or liability should something happen. All in all, it is better to know where there are gaps so that appropriate and reasonable risk controls can be applied.

You can’t Improve what you can’t Measure

The Fatigue NAGA considers over 100 factors. SIX Safety determines the degree to which each factor has been addressed in your organization. These assessments are translated into a weighted score. This numeric value helps establish how your efforts to address fatigue-related risk compare to industry standards. The results help you benchmark against best practices. Over the course of time, the Fatigue NAGA can be revisited and updated to demonstrate the degree of continuous improvements. The Fatigue NAGA not only identifies the level of fatigue risk and the effectiveness of your current initiatives, but also provides a comprehensive list of recommendations to help you address the gaps. Controls can be established to reduce fatigue-related risk, liabilities, and costs.

Benchmark Assessment Sample

Take the next step towards improved safety, health & wellness, and performance. Contact SIX Safety to conduct your Fatigue NAGA today!

SIX Safety Systems delivers fit-for-duty solutions that mitigate the risks associated with drugs, alcohol, and fatigue in the workplace. 



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