Full teams of experts are called in to investigate the circumstances which lead up to disasters, and increasingly they identify fatigue as a contributory factor. However, when we look at safety performance reporting within those same organisations we see little or no reference to fatigue incidents.
For example, it has been asserted that some team members worked 20 twelve-hour shifts leading up to the 2005 BP Texas refinery explosion which killed 15 workers. Was that time a factor?
If we want our safety reports to give early warning when safety levels drop, then we need to classify things like “working excessive hours or shifts” as an incident.
Remember, senior management should not have to wait until an accident happens, to find out that safety levels have been dropping for some time.