Even if your company isn’t in transportation, some items on the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Most Wanted List of 10 safety issues are easily applicable to all sorts of industries.
NTSB wants transportation companies to address human fatigue.
The agency recommends fatigue-countering mechanisms include science-based, data-driven hours-of-service limits, particularly for professional drivers, pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers.
On the issue of worker fatigue, the NSTB says employers should also:
- Establish science-based fatigue management systems that involve employees and management in developing ways to help identify the factors that cause fatigue, and
- Monitor operations to detect the presence of fatigue before it becomes a problem. Because “powering through” fatigue is simply not an acceptable option, fatigue management systems need to allow workers to acknowledge fatigue without jeopardizing their employment.
The second broad recommendation is to require safety management systems (SMS).
NTSB says companies should establish their own SMSs. These programs create processes to collect and analyze data on potential safety problems and then evaluate ways to mitigate the safety risk before an incident happens.
Another advocate of SMSs is OSHA administrator David Michaels. OSHA has proposed requiring companies to establish their own injury and illness prevention programs (I2P2s), which is just another name for SMSs.
The other 8 items on NTSB’s Most Wanted list are:
- Promote pilot and air traffic controller professionalism
- Promote teen driving safety
- Improve general aviation safety
- Improve motorcycle safety
- Improve runway safety
- Address alcohol-impaired driving
- Improve bus occupant safety, and
- Require image and onboard data recorders.
What do you think about NTSB’s recommendations? Let us know what your company has done to combat worker fatigue or how you’ve established an SMS in the Comments Box below.