NBAA Convention News

Web-based service teaches fatigue-management skills

 - October 14, 2009, 6:28 AM

Aviation insurance giant USAIG, in collaboration with Alertness Solutions, is launching Z-Coach, a science-based fatigue management program.

USAIG  (Booth No. 4634) claims the program is unique to the aviation industry because “it focuses on the individual, providing practical tools for each person to understand and manage their personal fatigue thresholds and levels of alertness.”
The Z-Coach game plan is Web-based and available 24/7, making it accessible to employees who work irregular hours or who are geographically dispersed. It is also designed to establish a secure and private relationship between the individual user and Z-Coach.

Z-Coach is the invention of Dr. Mark Rosekind, who has directed the award-winning efforts of the NASA Fatigue Countermeasures Program and last month was nominated to the NTSB. Rosekind also is participating in the Cessna/NBAA single-pilot safety standdown program on Thursday. His presentation is set for 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The Z-Coach program begins by developing a portrait of the individual user’s sleep need, habits, schedule and more. It then offers an introduction to fatigue-related performance and safety risks, as well as a 45-minute module on basic physiological fatigue factors such as sleep loss, sleep disorders and circadian rhythms.

As the program progresses, the individual learns sleep skills training, interactive exercises and instruments for self-evaluation of sleep and alertness to apply in daily life.

“Everyone seeks a competitive advantage that will enhance their opportunity for success, whether achieving peak performance or maximum safety,” USAIG explained. But, it added, they ignore or minimize critical and basic factors that can make a significant difference [such as] work schedules, 24/7 operations and travel across time zones. “The resulting fatigue can create performance risks that increase errors, incidents and accidents,” USAIG concluded.

Z-Coach is available for a fee directly from Alertness Solutions. An initial number of
complimentary Z-Coach subscriptions are available to USAIG member clients, and when those run out, USAIG will provide clients additional subscriptions at preferred pricing.