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New Book Offers Tools for Addressing Worker Fatigue and Transportation Safety

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Operator fatigue is a significant factor in major transportation disasters that span all modes, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Examples include the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Bourbonnais train-truck collision, American Airlines flight 1420 accident, and Hinton train disaster. Addressing this issue with solutions, Volpe Safety Management and Human Factors Director Dr. Stephen Popkin is the editor of a recently published book on worker fatigue and transportation safety.

With a foreword and introduction by Mark R. Rosekind, administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this book provides policy makers, practitioners, and researchers with real-world, practical guidance for addressing worker fatigue and transportation safety.

“We saw a need for a resource for policy makers, influencers, and decision makers to draw from as they address sleepy and fatigued operators, and thereby improve transportation safety,” Dr. Popkin said.

The chapter authors consider research that has informed tools and approaches for identifying and mitigating fatigue. The book pulls together work from a variety of human factors subject areas, including the following:

  • Safety
  • Environmental design
  • Human/vehicle interaction
  • Policy and technology transfer
  • Program evaluation
  • Neuroscience and sociotechnical systems

Each chapter addresses a specific topic, with tailored take-aways for readers, and discusses evaluation criteria to help identify returns on investments from the specific approaches.

Book cover for Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Volume 10: Worker Fatigue and Transportation Safety“The chapter authors provide readers with a superb foundation of knowledge, tools, practices, and policies,” Rosekind wrote in the book’s foreword and introduction.They offer a deeper understanding of the challenges, gaps, and needs.”

Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Volume 10: Worker Fatigue and Transportation Safety is the last volume in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics series.

Dr. Stephen Popkin

Steve Popkin.

Dr. Stephen Popkin, director of Volpe’s Center for Safety Management and Human Factors, has been serving and leading the transportation human factors profession for 25 years.

Dr. Popkin is the co-chair of the Operator Fatigue Management Program for DOT while concurrently serving as the secretary for the International Commission on Occupational Health’s Scientific Committee on Shiftwork and Working Time, an international body focused on the safety and health impacts of work schedules across all shiftworking professions.

Dr. Popkin leads the support to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation in operating the Safety Council, a senior-level body within the department that considers significant cross-modal transportation safety issues, including safety culture and operator fatigue.