Fatigue & Safety – 2009

Fourth Hopkinton Conference Addresses Fatigue and Safety – 2009

We successfully concluded our Hopkinton Conference program, “Future Directions in Fatigue and Safety Research,” with the completion of eight manuscripts for a future special issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. The event was the fourth in a series aimed at addressing critical safety research topics.

Organized by scientists at the Research Institute, the Université Paris Descartes, Swansea University, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, the 2008 conference brought together leading fatigue experts from around the world to debate topics, examine global issues, and discuss research priorities related to fatigue.

Five working groups produced a total of six papers, and conference organizers contributed an additional two papers summarizing the conference outcomes. The key areas discussed included the links between fatigue, safety, and performance; demographic issues; chronic medical conditions and sleep disorders; fatigue modeling; and technological and organizational approaches to fatigue management.

Introduced in 1996, the Institute’s Hopkinton Conference paradigm brings together leading experts on a key research area. Over the course of several months, participants draft state-of-the-art reviews covering various aspects of the Collaborations and Activities.  The participants then convene for a two-day conference at the Research Institute in Hopkinton to review, debate, and revise manuscripts, to examine global issues, and to discuss research priorities. After follow-up work and the completion of final manuscripts, a special issue of a leading, peer-reviewed scientific journal publishes the results. The Hopkinton Conference serves as a stimulus for further collaboration, as contributors form a new research network.

At the end of 2010, Accident Analysis and Prevention released a special issue of the peer-reviewed proceedings of our 2008 Hopkinton Conference, Future Directions in Fatigue and Safety Research. This special issue, titled “Advancing Fatigue and Safety Research,” (Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 495-594, 2011), included eight collaborative manuscripts that resulted from the conference. The proceedings covered key areas such as the links between fatigue, safety, and performance; demographic issues; chronic medical conditions and sleep disorders; fatigue modeling; and technological and organizational approaches to fatigue management.