In the oil and gas industry, employees are often transported to geographically remote areas for temporary work instead of relocating there permanently with their families.
These fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) operations can result in employee fatigue. Although the individual may only travel from home to the worksite once every month, or even less frequently, the journey may be long and arduous, and involve crossing multiple time zones. Following travel to a different time zone or a change from day shift to night shift, the circadian clock needs time to adjust. During this adjustment period, employees’ alertness and decision-making ability will be affected.
IPIECA, The global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues , has issued a document that provides managers with a practical, broad-based guide to understanding, recognizing and managing fatigue and fatigue-related issues in FIFO operations in the oil and gas sector. It explains the potential implications of FIFO-related fatigue for the performance and health of individual employees and for operational safety and efficiency. Recommendations on how to manage/prevent fatigue-related issues, deploy a fatigue risk management system, develop a travel plan and alertness strategy as well as guidance on the appropriate accommodation are also included.