Research carried out by Cardiff University on the causes of maritime
fatigue was instrumental in increasing understanding of contributing
factors such as long working hours, and the inadequacy of current
reporting systems. Because 90% of goods are transported by sea, fatigue
influences at the individual and community level, as well as resulting in
significant financial penalties for companies when accidents occur.
Cardiff research has led to significant changes across industry and
government in (a) personal awareness/management, such as improved safety
training and (b) new international legislation and company policy aimed at
reducing fatigue and improving health and safety at sea.
Research at Portsmouth has had a major impact on risk reduction, improved
service life and reduced inspection/maintenance costs of safety critical
and expensive fan and compressor components in military and civil
aero-engines, as demonstrated particularly by the Liftfan Blisk
manufactured by Rolls-Royce.
The research outcomes have also impacted on the specification of design
stress levels by Rolls-Royce and MOD for aerofoils susceptible to FOD,
enabling damage size inspection limits to be established at higher and
more economic levels. The research has also provided increased confidence
in the application of weld-repair of FOD and of surface treatment using
Laser Shock Peening against FOD.
Quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has improved,
responding to their stated major priority for help with fatigue. Their
self-management of fatigue has improved using our cognitive-behavioural
therapy intervention. Over 30,000 patients and healthcare professionals a
year request our resulting self-management booklet, distributed via
Arthritis Research UK.
This group's research spearheaded a new international
patient/professional consensus that fatigue must be measured in all
clinical trials. Along with the Bristol RA Fatigue scales, which we
developed (translated into 35 languages) this has helped to place fatigue
at the centre of drug development by changing the way the pharmaceutical
industry performs multi-national drug trials.
Nursing management has now improved demonstrably. Fatigue evaluation and
intervention have now been recommended in national guidelines.
Seafarer fatigue is a major issue for the safety and economics of
shipping and the protection of the marine environment. Estimates suggest
that 25% of marine casualties are caused by fatigue.
Project HORIZON demonstrated that sleepiness levels for some
watch-keeping regimes are high, and actual sleep can occur. The main
outcome of the project was a fatigue prediction model for use by voyage
planners to ease workloads on ships' crews.
The introduction of such fatigue risk mitigation measures will
potentially save lives, have an impact on the competitive success of
global shipping companies, and bring significant economic and
The impact of this research has been evident in a change of practice
regarding the consideration of fatigue in musculoskeletal profiling, and
as an aetiological risk factor for injury. This change in practice is
evidenced across a range of user groups, influencing evidence-based
practice in both the clinical and sporting context. The body of research
has generated a shift in the consideration of fatigue with regards
sporting injury incidence. Postgraduate teaching has evolved to consider
injury prevention strategies in relation to fatigue, and Governing Body
injury audits have cited this research in working toward injury prevention