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Putting the brakes on fatigue

PRODUCT and services provider to the petroleum and energy industries, Halliburton Energy Services, is delivering an initiative that has little to do with drill bits and filters.

Halliburton Australia went looking for an education tool for its own use, but finding none that was adequate, embarked on developing its own.

The result has been a CD-ROM training program called Dead Tired, which will benefit all industry sectors and help reduce the world’s estimated annual $US80 billion fatigue bill.

The international group’s safety strategy for 2001 was to eliminate vehicle accidents, and with fatigue playing a major part in such accidents, the Australian division looked to its driver-training provider and journey management consultants, Driver Training and Education Centre, for help with a solution.

“We needed something interactive,” Halliburton senior operations manager Australia, NZ and PNG, Bruce Roebuck, said.

Based in Perth, DTEC was happy to manage Halliburton’s fatigue tool project and to develop the concept, ensuring driver fatigue was a major focus.

DTEC, in turn, went to multi-media services company The CNS Group, which took on the production job.

The West Australian Sleep Disorders Research at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital also was brought in on the project, providing up-to-the-minute scientific expertise.

Institute director David Hillman, who assisted with script development and ensured the accuracy and correctness of physiological and technological terms, said the final product was of major benefit.

“The major motivator for getting involved in the project was safety in the workplace,” he said.

“I am worried about sleepiness in the workplace.

“I see quite a few workers from mine sites who operate dangerous machinery.”

But the project had delivered more than a useful tool, Dr Hillman said. It also had raised awareness of what could be done.

“We may not be able to compete with other nations creating small widgets, but we can take ideas and develop these into products,” he said.

“And we need to do things that create value.

“A lot of intellectual capacity lies fallow, particularly in WA, and we need to show the world that we’re smart.

“This is a smart product and one that is a model for doing similar things.”

While 60 per cent focused on driving and operating heavy machinery, Dead Tired covers all aspects of fatigue that could affect a worker’s performance and safety, including shiftwork, relationships, mood swings, exercise, eating habits and danger periods of the day.

Halliburton’s 450 employees in Australia have undergone training with the four-modules package during the past five months.

The program has also been made available to customers such as Santos and Chevron, and will go to Halliburton’s employees worldwide.

DTEC training manager John Willmott said this was the first such involvement for DTEC with this type of individual-use interactive training.

As well as being a great marketing tool, DTEC could see other opportunities that would result in good tools helping industry to manage fatigue.

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