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Introducing ReadiAnalytics: real-time objective visibility into workforce fatigue

Fatigue Science, a global leader in providing predictive analytics on human performance to industrial firms, elite sport teams, and the military, is pleased to announce the launch of ReadiAnalytics™, a first-of-its-kind analytics and Fatigue Management Information System, as part of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. ReadiAnalytics delivers real-time, scientifically validated, and objective visibility into workforce fatigue levels and its underlying causes.

Fatigue management has recently emerged as a C-Suite priority for heavy industry firms, as executives in mining, oil & gas, construction, and a number of other vertical industries with complex operations are now recognizing the proven correlation between workforce fatigue and operational productivity. New data reveals that less fatigued workforces are measurably more productive and that data confirms the well-established benefits for employee health, safety, and retention. Military command and elite sports leadership are likewise focused on performance optimization and fatigue risk management.

 

As the incremental productivity benefits and associated return on investment (ROI) are now clear, leadership teams are seeking objective, timely and quantified measures of on duty fatigue levels for each crew or team and site in their operation. ReadiAnalytics was designed in consultation with these customers specifically to meet this need and to help them achieve measurable fatigue reduction goals. The analytics suite delivers actionable fatigue and performance insights tailored to the needs of executives, military command, operations leadership, coaches, supervisors, and teams as well as health and safety professionals. 

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Data-Driven Decision-Making

Industrial firms, the military, and elite sports pursuit of objective data to support performance optimization coincides with a larger trend: the shift toward data-driven decision-making enabled by the IloT. While data on machine performance has grown exponentially in recent years, data on workforce performance and fatigue have long been viewed as a blind spot for otherwise data-rich organizations. 

“Our customers today have operational data flowing from nearly every asset in their operation: trucks, pipes, shovels, and pumps all generate millions of data points each day. And yet, most industrial firms lack objective measures on the performance of their most valuable asset: their workforce,” says Andrew Morden, President and CEO of Fatigue Science. “When it comes to the causes and extent of worker fatigue, most management teams are essentially ‘flying blind’. Now with ReadiAnalytics™, firms no longer need to guess when and where fatigue is present, or how significant it is. The validated data is right there in the dashboard, on-demand and in real-time.”

 

Unlike subjective methods for estimating crew fatigue, ReadiAnalytics captures anonymous sleep data from a sample of crew workers and then processes it alongside a variety of circadian factors with a scientifically-validated biomathematical model. The model then quantifies which on duty crews will be the most and least fatigued, and how that fatigue will trend over time as their shift pattern progresses. Crucially, worker privacy is preserved, as insights are anonymized and aggregated for each crew, site, and the company. 

Beyond providing fatigue data, ReadiAnalytics also reveals the underlying causes of this fatigue. It segments the portion that is attributable to structural factors, like schedules, versus human factors, such as sleep health and habits. These insights are instrumental in informing specific strategies to reduce fatigue levels, and ultimately, drive concrete improvements to productivity, safety, and cost. 

“When we spoke to customers, a recurring theme emerged: ‘We recognize fatigue is important, but if we really want to invest in fixing the root causes, we need to be able to objectively measure our baseline fatigue level, and then track our progress toward reducing it over time.’ As the saying goes, ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure,’” says Robert Higdon, Vice President of Product and Corporate Development. 

As employers implement specific efforts to reduce workforce fatigue, they need ongoing measures of their effectiveness, and the opportunity to adjust course. “Our customers are  accustomed to data-driven decision-making when optimizing their machinery. We’re proud to now enable organizations in taking a similar approach to their workforce decision processes—particularly because workers’ well-being, safety, and productivity actually move in tandem,” says David Trotter, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. 

ReadiAnalytics also empowers our military and elite sports clients who are consistently focused on fatigue and its associated impact on human performance.

Fatigue Management, a Win-Win in Today’s Challenging Time

The intersection of productivity and health and safety represents a particularly compelling win-win for all types of organizations in this challenging and unprecedented time. As humanity collectively continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are recognizing their role and responsibility for providing employees with working conditions that are conducive to their health and safety. 

This focus on employee well-being is particularly relevant in heavy industry, where workers routinely perform dangerous or complex tasks in high-risk environments, all while working extended shifts, often at night and in remote environments. 

“So often, and particularly at this moment in history, employers are being forced to choose between their bottom line and the health and safety of their workers. Reducing fatigue, fortunately, is one of those rare opportunities where safeguarding workers’ health also maximizes productivity,” says Morden. 

“With ReadiAnalytics, we’ve shown customers a direct correlation between workers’ fatigue levels and their hourly output. For example, we paired our proprietary fatigue data with telematics data from haul trucks and mine shovels,” added Morden. “At the same time, sleep is fundamentally important for a healthy immune system, with documented benefits for both reducing short-term absenteeism and increasing long-term employee retention. Reducing the hard costs from accidents, incidents, and equipment damage attributable to fatigue is also a key motivator for employers looking to use our predictive analytics to achieve a measurable reduction in fatigue.”

Nearly 65% of industrial accidents in surface mining alone are related to fatigue.

Decades of Scientific Validation, Paired with Cutting-Edge Technology

ReadiAnalytics is the newest flagship offering in Fatigue Science’s renowned fatigue risk management software suite, Readi Enterprise Suite™

At the core of Readi Enterprise Suite is the SAFTE™ Biomathematical Fatigue Model, a proprietary algorithm developed by the U.S. Army Research Lab and available exclusively from Fatigue Science. SAFTE accepts workers’ cumulative sleep data and circadian factors as an input and then translates those data into three objective and quantifiable measures of performance: cognitive effectiveness, reaction time, and likelihood to lapse (which is related to a tendency for micro-sleeps). Collectively, these factors comprise what is meant by fatigue in a human performance context. 

SAFTE has been validated extensively by leading institutions such as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, and its measurements have shown a direct correlation to real-world productivity and safety outcomes, as measured by telematics and video-verified incident data.

For years, Readi Enterprise Suite has served a dual purpose for its customers: provide individuals with daily insight into their fatigue levels via our smartphone app called Readi, and provide leadership with aggregated insights into organizational fatigue. Up until now, the insights for leadership were only available via manual analysis that often brought weeks or months of delays between when the data was captured and when it was delivered.

“We discovered the data is tangibly more actionable when it is on-demand, as our clients can then measure progress continuously, in any segment of their workforce or team,” says Morden. “ReadiAnalytics automates the entire analysis and delivery process in a real-time solution that effortlessly scales to the largest industrial workforces or military divisions.” 

“Through our testing, we’ve found that leadership teams are far more likely to implement fatigue reduction initiatives if they can see the results in real-time, and adjust course before the effort is wasted,” says Higdon. “Crew supervisors benefit as well, as crew level data enables effective task planning and their ability to reinforce the importance of sleep to their workers. They often cite a friendly ‘competition’ in the participating crews, where each supervisor can encourage their own crew to focus on their sleep, comparing its fatigue levels to other crews.”

“We see ReadiAnalytics really unlocking organizations’ use of our fatigue metrics not just once a quarter or twice a year, but on a daily basis to drive results within day-to-day operations,” concludes Morden.

A Benefit for Workforce Participants

Like all tools in Readi Enterprise Suite, ReadiAnalytics is a hardware agnostic platform, compatible with a growing range of validated sleep tracking devices, such as the ReadiBand from Fatigue Science, as well as select validated devices from Fitbit and Garmin. This flexibility makes it easy to recruit volunteers from a workforce. “The pitch to workers is simple: Volunteer to share your anonymized sleep data with the Readi program, and in exchange, you’ll get a Fitbit, Garmin, or ReadiBand. You’ll also help leadership provide better, less fatiguing working conditions,” says Trotter. Consequently, early pilot customers of ReadiAnalytics regularly see more participants than initially planned. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

For progressive industrial firms, adopting new technology offers the prospect of a win-win where trade-offs previously existed. “With ReadiAnalytics, customers are able to see a payback on their investment within weeks to months,” says Trotter. “And that’s just the ROI from productivity. Our customers also find a significant reduction in costs and an improvement in safety outcomes when they achieve a measurable reduction in fatigue. In these challenging times, we’re excited to play a part in helping organizations improve the health, safety, and performance of workers, soldiers, and athletes through new technology.”

ReadiAnalytics is launching today with deployments at several major global mining firms, with many more slated to deploy in the coming weeks. All existing Fatigue Science customers have immediate access to ReadiAnlaytics at no cost for a period of 90 days.

How fatigued employees affect your business

The long-term impact of sleep deprivation on employees is real and tangible. It is estimated that 30% of employees sleep fewer than six hours a night. This accumulation of sleep debt can lead to less energy, poorer cognitive function, less productivity, and a decreased ability to cope with stress in the workplace.

This infographic from the Pulse Institute demonstrates the challenges to workplace productivity that exist when employees are not sufficiently rested, including:

  • 23% reduced concentration
  • 18% reduced memory function
  • 9% increased difficulty in performing work or volunteer tasks

Fatigued workers contribute to on the job errors – the cost of which affects an organization’s performance, safety and bottom line. What are you doing to address fatigue in your workforce?

AsleepOnTheJob

It’s 3 am, do you know how fatigued your workers are?

When the news of the Chicago train derailment came across our desks last week, we immediately took notice of the time of day the incident occurred. We know from experience and science, that 3 AM is not an optimal time for us to be up and about, performing safety sensitive tasks.

In our 24-hour society, however, the world doesn’t shut down at night so that everyone can go to sleep. Police officers need to respond to emergencies, nurses need to tend to patients, machinery operators need to make sure facilities keep running, and transportation workers need to make sure travellers are delivered safely to their destinations – at all hours of the day.

The responsibility to ensure these, and other shift-related jobs, are performed effectively and without risk to human safety must be shared by both the employer and the worker. There are number of variables which can contribute to someone’s level of fatigue on the job – Are the work shifts inconsistent? Does their work schedule give them enough time off to sleep? Does the worker have a sleep disorder? Does the worker have children at home who are keeping them up? Does the sleeping environment of the worker allow for restful sleep? Does the worker make an effort to obtain 7-9 hours of sleep per day? … this list could go on.

The fact is, all of these specific variables (and more) can be addressed if an employer asks two questions:

  • Does the work schedule provide the worker with the opportunity to maintain regular, sufficient sleep?
  • Is the worker taking advantage of the sleep opportunity being provided to them?

Obtaining objective answers to these questions is actually easier than one might think. The technology and tools to analyze work schedules and measure worker’s sleep is commercially available. (Full disclosure here, we are talking about Fatigue Science technology.) These tools can help employers identify the possibility of worker’s accumulating sleep debt based on their schedules, in a scientifically-validated and meaningful way. They can also help organizations identify if their workers are indeed accumulating risk-inducing levels of sleep debt due to insufficient sleep, whether related to schedule, lifestyle, health or a combination of these factors. By identifying the causes of fatigue in the workplace, organizations and employees can start to manage these variables.

In the case of the O’Hare Airport train crash, the operator has admitted to falling asleep while driving. Additionally, it was noted that she had previously fallen asleep on the job only last month. While it is extremely fortunate there have been no fatalities in either incidents, the risk to human life and the growing financial costs associated with last Monday’s event should serve as a wake up to organizations in any industry. It is not enough to just investigate whether or not fatigue is a factor in a workplace accident, employers and authorities need to take the next steps to address it and reduce the risk of it happening again. Whether a roster of train operators, police officers, or heavy machinery operators, Fatigue can be both measured and managed – before someone makes a mistake that puts themselves, and other human life at risk.

Showing up to work tired is just like showing up to work drunk

We found this great piece about the research and work Harvard is doing to bring attention to the issue of fatigue in the workplace. Fatigue isn’t just a safety issue for truck drivers, it’s an all around performance and health issue in every industry. The fact is, people who don’t get sufficient nightly sleep (between 7-9 hours) can’t perform at their best and suffer more health problems.

During the last few decades the average American has lost an hour and a half of sleep per night. Sleep researchers at Harvard say the workplace is suffering to the tune of $63 billion a year as a result of insomnia, and all the health and productivity problems that go with it…

The article references the approach the Dallas Mavericks are taking to address fatigue and performance in their players (hey, that’s us!):

“Some businesses are already tackling the issue. Casey Smith is head athletic trainer for NBA team the Dallas Mavericks. The players have just started wearing wristwatches that measure the duration and intensity of their sleep. “It’s a sport but it’s also a business,” says Smith. “Our business is to win games, to win matches, and anything that can make our athletes perform at a higher level, react quicker, recover better, that’s something that we would obviously be interested in.”

Read the full piece or listen to the podcast