Driver Fatigue
A new page on the NIOSH website focuses on how to prevent driver fatigue on the job. Driver fatigue can be caused by being awake for many consecutive hours, not getting enough sleep over multiple days, and monotonous tasks or long periods of inactivity. Time of day and health factors like sleep disorders or medications that cause drowsiness can also contribute to driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers may nod off or react more slowly to changing road conditions. NIOSH encourages employers to use a fatigue risk management system to help reduce the risks of driver fatigue. According to NIOSH, an FRMS can promote alertness among workers, identify tasks that are prone to fatigue, and lessen fatigue and its potential consequences. Information from NIOSH’s new web page on fatigue appears below.
From CDC’s web page on drowsy driving: “Studies have shown that going too long without sleep can impair your ability to drive the same way as drinking too much alcohol. . . . Additionally, drowsiness increases the effect of even low amounts of alcohol.”
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In August, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that a student intern and a researcher at Oak Ridge Associated Universities had devised an experiment to replicate the McCluskey incident in order to study the effects of radiation on the body. By irradiating vials of their own blood for different lengths of time, the researchers hope to generate data that clinicians and first responders can refer to following an exposure incident.

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