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Sleep contracts, a negotiated procedure for managing day-to-day fatigue risk, offer possibilities in safety critical operations; yet, to date their use has been limited. In addition, knowledge of their theoretical background and guidance on their practical application is lacking. As part of a programme of activities on the 'top ten' human factors issue of fatigue, the Energy Institute's Human and Organisational Factors Committee commissioned Clockwork Consultants Ltd. to review the potential role of sleep contracts. The aim of the review was to provide a snapshot of current knowledge in managing fatigue risk and to report the experiences of companies with operational sleep contracts.
This Research Report provides the findings of that review. It defines sleep contracts and describes how they can be used alongside Hours of Work controls to better manage fatigue risk. Findings from the industry case studies are used to help outline the attributes of a sleep contract and to set out preliminary thoughts on how they should be negotiated between management and the workforce. Some of their potential benefits are reviewed. The report notes that sleep contracts should be integrated into a company's existing Safety Management System, thereby providing the supporting structure necessary for identified fatigue risks to be recorded, addressed and reviewed.
The report should be read by those wishing to explore use of sleep contracts as an option in fatigue management; however, it forms an adjunct to the more general publication Managing fatigue using a fatigue risk management plan (FRMP) which covers the broader topic of fatigue risk management in the petroleum and allied industries.
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