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Fatigue Management Program

Date Created: 2008
Main beneficiaries: MRN's employees.

One of the main focus of the occupational health program of the company has been the appropriate addressing of issues involving fatigue - an aspect that affects not only people's quality of life, but also their safety in the workplace due to the high risks to professional activities.

The Fatigue Management program was internationally recognized in 2010 by BHP Billiton, a shareholder of MRN, as the best initiative in this area amongst the company's operations worldwide. This recognition was achieved by the benefits generated in finding solutions to a problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

Through this program, one can identify and treat problems related to breathing disorders during sleep, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, and identify possible causes neurological and psychiatric conditions affecting people during this resting phase, rearranging the chronobiology of the patients.

The program is also active in environmental and behavioral actions that can combat excessive strain or mitigate the impact of fatigue on the individual.

The first step in the creation of the program was given in 2008, being completed in the ensuing year. The 'Fatigue Management' program started benefiting the operators of mining equipment and railroad and professional of electric power generation. Then, the shift workers were included and, finally, all other company employees and their families who, although not prioritized groups, had a clinical diagnosis of sleep disorders, such as excessive sleepiness, impaired memory or concentration and irritability.

The actions were also directed to the Jonathas Athias school, managed by Fundação Vale do Trombetas, with the goal of bringing information and enable teachers to identify learning difficulties and behavior related to sleep disorders.

Assessment of the cases is conducted through a questionnaire on morningness and eveningness, in addition to tests of attention and alertness. Then, employees are subjected to polysomnography. Those who have changes are clinically assessed by the doctor and the dentist (for specific evaluation of sleep disorders and their consequences) and then forwarded to treatment. In symptomatic cases, evaluation of the patient's home is conducted using a pulse oximeter and frequency counter. These devices allow the physician to investigate the heart rate change associated with periods of decline of oxygen saturation in the blood. The program also addresses actions involving environment adaptation, correction of exposure to environmental agents and work organization.

The execution of the Fatigue Management program is by the Hospital of Porto Trombetas (HPTR), where the Sleep Laboratory was built. The room has two fully equipped beds and a team of dental care professionals trained for assessing and using intra-oral appliances used in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Transformations - The implementation of the program changed the physical structure of some areas. In the mining area, 2000-lux fluorescent bulbs were installed, with low UV emission, which go on whenever the parking brake is engaged. This device promotes inhibition of melatonin production, which is directly related to sleep induction.

Also, the headlight bulbs of trucks were replaced by bulb types that allow for better lighting, less glare and consequently less eye fatigue. The rest rooms have been replaced by Interaction and Alertness Stimulation rooms, where the employee, during the rest periods after meals, is exposed to a 2000-lux luminance, they can play games, watch television, and other activities that stimulate them stay awake and interact with their peers.  Similarly, the yard machines had their operation stations adapted to the workers as a way to associate comfort to their productive capacity.

Treatment of sleep problems also includes actions such as: nutritional counseling for the adoption of balanced diet, visiting the employee's home to check their resting environment, giving the family instruction of this matter, and replacing the mattress if necessary.​​​​

Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program
Fatigue Management Program

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