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Seasonal sleep effects on Louisiana aerial applicators' safety.

Authors
  • Gregory, J M
  • Barbosa, R N
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of agricultural safety and health
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
Volume
16
Issue
1
Pages
53–64
Identifiers
PMID: 20222271
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sleep management is one of the documented factors affecting safety and health. Using SLEEP (Sleep Loss Effects on Everyday Performance), a web-based model that integrates the dynamics of sleep to predict performance loss, aerial applicators licensed to work in the state of Louisiana were surveyed and evaluated for sleep deprivation. On and off season sleeping patterns were compared. During the off season, agricultural pilots reported having average sleeping time (6.9 hours), while during the farming season, because of their grueling schedule (sometimes working 100 hours a week), pilots reported sleeping only 3 hours per day in the week before the survey was made. Sleep deprivation greatly increases the chances of accidents. In the Mississippi delta region, 84% of the fatal accidents in the past nine years involving agricultural pilots were ruled as caused by human factors. Younger pilots are particularly at risk due to their limited flying experience and greater sleep needs. The agricultural pilot community would likely benefit from educational programs focused on better sleep management and the value and limitations of countermeasures to cope with fatigue.

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