Technical Reports

Locomotive Engineer's Activity Diary

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1996
AUTHOR: Pollard, J.
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/RRP-96/02
SUBJECT: Human Factors, Work Schedule & Sleep Patterns
KEYWORDS: railroad; engineers; fatigue; alertness; hours of work; hours of service
ABSTRACT: About 200 freight engineers working on several major railroads completed a 14-day diary recording such data as: the demographic characteristics of the participants; how much time they spent working, sleeping at home, sleeping away from home, commuting; and how much time they spent on all other purposes. Data were also gathered regarding the quality of rest, how alert they felt on the job, and how well they could predict the time of the next job start. Their comments were solicited about the factors responsible for fatigue and job-induced stress, and what countermeasures they would prefer. Analyses of these data are presented showing how hours of sleep and alertness on the job are affected by: job category, age, average daily hours worked, job-start time, and job-end time. Self-rated alertness estimates by time-of-day are given for each railroad along with graphs showing how average alertness varies with hours worked and the effect of having an assistant. There are tables of ratings on ease of falling asleep, ease of staying asleep, and quality of rest for at-home and away-from-home rest. Also included are poll results for some 50 suggested countermeasures and scatter plots of errors in estimates of job-start times.
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