Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New NIOSH Training to Reduce Risks for Emergency Responders Working Long Hours

NIOSH has released a free web-based training that will help emergency responders and
managers better cope with emergency operations when deployed to a disaster site. Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours is designed for emergency workers who respond to epidemics such as Ebola, weather-related disasters and other catastrophic events.

The program provides strategies to reduce the safety and health risks that are linked to working long hours during the daytime which coupled with the high physical and emotional strain associated with emergency response and recovery operations can prevent responders from getting enough sleep. The lack of sleep creates greater risk for fatigue-related mistakes that can lead to injuries and death.

The training is designed to increase knowledge and promote better personal behaviors and workplace systems and covers the following:

  • dangers of working while sleepy and fatigued;
  • basic information about sleep and fatigue;
  • personal factors that could lead to higher health and safety risks;
  • better work schedule design and other management strategies;
  • signs and symptoms of fatigue in response workers;
  • tips for improving sleep at night and alertness on the job;
  • preventing fatigue from strain to muscles and joints;
  • protecting from fatigue due to excessive heat.