CQUni researcher awake to national radio show on 'napping'
Published on 06 October, 2011
CQUniversity sleep and fatigue specialist Associate Professor Naomi Rogers has featured on a Radio National Health Report on the benefits of napping.
Dr Rogers had a significant portion of air-time alongside other national and international experts and representatives of industry, including managers from Google.
She was featured in recognition of her expert witness status during a coroner's inquiry into two fatal road deaths involving miners driving home.
The Mackay-based academic has been working with government agencies and mining unions to produce voluntary industry guidelines, designed to ensure workers are both fit for work and also safe when travelling home.
Dr Rogers says it's encouraging the industry is looking at ways to manage fatigue both on and off the work site, as miners often take on long drives after consecutive night shifts.
Close to half of these potentially tired miners choose not to rest before commuting for a range of reasons, including the availability of somewhere to rest and the need or desire to return to the family home, which is often hours away on the coast.
Dr Rogers says the drive home can be quite dangerous if the miner has built up a 'sleep debt'. She says the more sleep-deprived the miner is the less able they are at recogising how fatigued and impaired they actually are.
The mining and commuting segment was discussed in the context of culture change, and Dr Rogers notes all companies have a requirement to turn up fit for duty.
Encouragingly, some companies are now examining how they can also incorporate the commute to and from work into their fatigue management policies.