February 2019 Newsletter: Sleep Health and Safe Driving

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Q: Do your drivers or employees feel like they are on “autopilot” at times when behind the wheel?

A: Repetitious or monotonous driving can be the cause of time-on-task fatigue. So, what does that mean? Researchers have related the duration of activity, or time on task, to fatigue symptoms.

You zone out and whisk past road markers without noticing much of anything in your driving field. You are tired and you are on autopilot. You pose a risk to yourself and others all around you because the skills you need for safe driving have been compromised, including judgment and reaction time.

Can you think of a time when you were driving and don’t remember the route you took?

Research indicates you are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued. In a survey of employers conducted by the National Safety Council, half of respondents said employees have fallen asleep on the job and, 90% said they have been negatively impacted by tired employees.

Take steps to address fatigue and drowsy driving:

  • Optimize employee work schedules
  • Allow naps where feasible
  • Educate employees about the importance of sleep, and create a culture that promotes sleep health

Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to reach peak performance levels. Losing even two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers. On the roads, the consequences can be catastrophic. In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation reported “fatigued” or “asleep” drivers contributed to:

  • 160 fatal crashes on state roads
  • 1,712 injury crashes
  • 9,704 total crashes (more than 26 each day)

Use these free resources to assist in your drowsy driving and sleep health education efforts. One is a new Live with Lisa video I am proud to say is great for showcasing on your social channels or featuring on video monitors where you deliver safety messages:

ProFrac = Pro Safety

Learn how oneTexas energy giant prioritizes transportation safety.

When ProFrac Services started doing business in 2016, company leaders set a goal to shake up the pressure pumping market by supplying new and better equipment to its customers in the hydraulic fracturing industry.

From the get-go, company leaders recognized that manufacturing and delivering equipment to job sites required a commitment to excellence that extended across the board and included the implementation of a health, safety and environmental management program.

ProFrac’s operations are unique in that very few drivers operate a vehicle on a daily basis. When equipment is moved between job sites, the level of exposure is very high. Nearly 80% of the company’s heavy vehicle fleet requires an overweight or oversize permit for compliant operations.

From its district office locations, ProFrac has deployed nearly 700 heavy vehicles and nearly 250 light vehicles. The company employs more than 500 CDL drivers and more than 600 non-regulated drivers. Several ProFrac offices are located in Texas, including company headquarters in Willow Park and the company manufacturing facility in Cisco.

Weekly safety meetings are provided for all employees. Telematics and vehicle technologies are used to ensure transportation safety compliance and, when necessary, to provide coaching. ProFrac tracks several different transportation metrics on a weekly basis. By recording data weekly, ProFrac is able to implement controls and measure results.

ProFrac’s implemented controls include audible feedback for negative driving performance, seat belt non-compliance and speed-limiting of vehicles.

ProFrac’s HSE team uses birthday mailings to communicate safety messages, including the #EndTheStreakTX campaign intended to raise awareness of a Texas road safety streak that dates to Nov. 7, 2000. At least one person has died on state roads every day since the streak started more than 18 years ago, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

“ProFrac, as an employer and industry leader, intends to spread awareness of this deadly crisis one family at a time in hopes that someday Texas can enjoy a streak of no fatalities on its roadways,” ProFrac DOT Manager Phil Baxter said.

ProFrac monitors road safety occurrences on a ratio compared to the number of miles operated. By analyzing each metric as a ratio to miles traveled, ProFrac is able to place all district offices and all historic data on the same scale and judge performance accordingly.

ProFrac’s results of safety efforts vary by initiative. The result of ProFrac’s implemented seat belt controls are impressive.

“After controls were implemented and results analyzed, the ratio of seat belt violations per miles traveled experienced a 98% improvement,” Baxter said. “As ProFrac continues to grow, our seat belt ratio to miles traveled continues to improve toward our Driven to Zero initiative of zero violations, citations and injuries.”

Members of ProFrac’s HSE team have attended free Our Driving Concern training sessions and make use of free resources from Our Driving Concern in the distribution of ProFrac’s monthly safety newsletter. Baxter said the idea is to not only engage employees but also their loved ones at home.