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23 CHAPTER FIVE HUMAN PERFORMANCE Human factors involves gathering information about human April 1st) from 4:00 a.m. until the arrival of the last air carrier abilities, limitations, and other characteristics, and applying it flight each day. If needed, personnel shall work through the night to continue snow removal operations as warranted. to tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments to produce safe, comfortable, and effective human use (9). In avi- The FAA has recognized the impact of fatigue on airfield ation, human factors is dedicated to better understanding how operations and has mentioned it in AC 150/5210-20, Ground humans can more safely and efficiently be integrated with the Vehicle Operations on Airports (3) and AC 150/5200-30, technology. That understanding is then translated into design, Airport Winter Safety and Operations (12) as a collision training, policies, or procedures to help humans perform better. risk factor to be considered by airport management in their operational plans. One of the primary human performance factor topics mentioned in the survey and associated with increasing the An individual engaged in winter operations can experience possibility of error and risk during snow removal operations one of two types of fatigue: acute or chronic. Acute is short was the issue of fatigue. term and is experienced as a direct consequence of some activity, such as strenuous exercise or intense mental concen- FATIGUE tration, which often occurs during winter storm operations. Acute fatigue would be experienced during and after a typical Fatigue is widely recognized as a core safety issue in the air winter storm requiring the operator to engage in winter oper- transportation industry. It is on the NTSB's list of most-wanted ations for one day. Chronic fatigue (a.k.a, cumulative fatigue) safety improvements in aviation (2). And while the NTSB avi- is a cumulative state of tiredness and decreased alertness, and ation recommendations are directed more toward pilots and is directly related to the physiological need for sleep. Chronic mechanics, the recognition of fatigue in other safety-related fatigue is more severe and longer-term than acute fatigue. areas of aviation are of no less importance or impact. This is Chronic fatigue develops when an individual camps out at evidenced by the number of times respondents mentioned the airport and works continuously over the length of a major fatigue in the survey and in the examples they provided. storm for several days without adequate rest or recovery. The risk of an error or mistake increases with the degree of fatigue Fatigue refers to one's inability to maintain sufficient experienced. alertness in a job. In general, fatigue results from inadequate rest over a period of time, which leads to the physical and men- Recognizing when one is fatigued and taking action to tal impairment of an individual. The literature search revealed counter it are two important components of a safe operating that numerous studies on fatigue have been conducted in the system. Research has determined that vehicle operators are aviation field, but the overwhelming majority has been directed aware they are fatigued, in part because they actively fight sleep toward flight crew members and aircraft maintenance employ- by opening the vehicle window, turning up the radio, fre- ees. Fatigue has not been readily studied within airport oper- quently moving around in the seat, drinking coffee, etc. (37). ations and, in particular, snow removal operations. And while Recognizing symptoms of fatigue then becomes an SA issue the air transport industry has been required by the FAA and that all vehicle operators and airport organizations need to ICAO to establish fatigue management practices in their oper- address in their training and operations. ations, those working on the airfield have not been subject to such regulation. FATIGUE AS AN ISSUE Snow removal crews, in particular, are vulnerable to the effects of fatigue due to the long hours of operation, the nature At its core, fatigue is caused by a lack of restorative sleep. of the environment the operators work in, and the time of day The evidence from various studies suggests that there are three during which many snow events occur. An example of the broad factors that can contribute to a lack of restorative sleep: long hours is illustrated in one non-hub airport's snow plan: (1) the time of day work takes place, (2) the length of time spent at work and in work-related duties (such as driving to The airport will have a maintenance crew and an Operations and from work), and (3) the amount and quality of rest Supervisor on duty during winter months (November 1st through obtained prior to and after a work period (37).