Private Companies 22


June 26, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd: The impact of exercise on sleep


There is no doubt sleep plays a vital role in your overall health and wellbeing. When you aren't getting enough good quality sleep it can impact your short- and long-term health. As we discuss regularly, there are many ways to improve the quality of sleep and in this blog we're looking at the impact of exercise.

The benefits of exercise

It's clear that exercise offers many benefits, from health and mood to sleep and stress. Lifts mood

No matter how much you dread walking into the gym, there's no denying that instant mood boost when you finish a workout! Exercising really can make you happier. Reduces stress

When you exercise you're pumping up your endorphins which can directly help to reduce stress. These "feel-good" neurotransmitters can make you feel happier, less stressed and more energetic. Boosts energy

Both low- and high-intensity workouts have been proven to boost energy, so even when you feel you have no energy for a workout, you'll actually reduce that sluggish feeling once you've exercised. Improves health and fitness

This is a no-brainer: aerobic exercise (think workouts that make you huff and puff) keeps your heart and lungs strong. It can also improve your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Resistance (weight-based) training keeps lean muscles strong and improves bone density.

Time and time again fitness has been linked to a long life. Studies have shown fitness is the key, and it's more important than body shape and even more important than other risk factors such as smoking. Strengthens memory

Whether you're terrible with names or suddenly can't remember the reason you needed to visit a colleague's office, memory lapses can be frustrating. Aerobic exercise has been found to boost the size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Improves sleep

By reducing stress and tiring you out, exercise can improve sleep (as well as the quality of sleep).

In the long term, aerobic exercise can also improve sleeping disorders like sleep apnea.

Further, a 2005 study of men and women aged between 18 and 35 found that: 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week resulted in a 65% improvement in quality of sleep Participants who were more active were 68% less likely to have leg cramps while sleeping Those who were more active fell asleep quicker

Brad Cardinal, one of the study's authors, recognises exercise as a "non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep".






Optalert Pty Ltd., a technology company, develops early warning fatigue detection systems. It offers Fatigue Risk Profiling that allows online and real time monitoring of the alertness of users team of operators; and works like a continuous improvement indicator by helping customers to develop targeted training programs to give attention to operators whose drowsiness levels consistently deviate from the norm. The company also provides fatigue management glasses for drowsiness monitoring to track the amplitude velocity ratio by measuring how fast and how far a person opens their eyelid after they close it. In addition, it offers alertness monitoring systems, which are behavior-based safety tools that help companies to understand how drowsiness and fatigue can impact on the safety of operators; and Drowsiness Measurement System, a tool that assists research on drowsiness and the impairment of performance that it causes, as well as streamlines the data collection and data investigation processes for the researcher. Optalert Pty Ltd. was formerly known as Sleep Diagnostics Pty Ltd. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Richmond, Australia.


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Industry: Computers and Electronic Equipment


May 03, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd: Rail accidents triggered by fatigue

Due to its 24-hour nature, fatigue is a major risk in the rail industry. The risk is recognised and as a result, many rail companies around the world are obligated to create and implement a fatigue management program to protect staff, passengers and the communities in which they travel. Whether it's a passenger train carrying patrons between stops along a line or a commercial rail transporting freight across the country, the role of fatigue has unfortunately made its mark on the following rail accidents.

April 06, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd: An open letter to your CEO: why you need drowsiness detection technology

I'm writing to highlight the real dangers of drowsiness potentially placing our company and my colleagues at risk.

By the very nature of our 24-hour business, we are exposed to pressures caused by working at times against our bodies' natural circadian rhythm.

Our bodies want us to be sleeping, but we are scheduled to work.

This biological need combined with commuting times to and from site, places our shift workers at risk of a drowsy-driving incident, even if we begin our shifts well rested. Because of these inherent risks, I believe our business needs a diagnostic fatigue risk assessment to determine our fatigue risk profile by looking closely at:

Drivers and operators at risk

Times of the day when they are at risk

Locations presenting the greatest risk

Sadly, there are many real-life incidents occurring every day which result in injury and loss of life and there are some common elements contributing to the risk.

Source: Company Website

March 20, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd: A day in the life of a shift worker

Ask any shift worker about a typical shift and they will tell you the same thing: no two shifts are ever alike.

Shift workers often enjoy the variety provided to them and the changing landscape. They might also tell you that it can be challenging and exhausting, but at the same time incredibly rewarding. Shift work can be split into two or three separate shifts that, when combined, make up the 24 hours in a day. In some cases where there are three longer shifts, some hours will overlap.

Shifts can be split into day and night shifts, or day, night and overnight shifts. Shift work could look something like this' Day shift: 5am-5pm Night shift: 3pm-3am Overnight shift: 1am-1pm

This roster structure allows for several hours of overlap between shifts. Overlapping hours during all three 12-hour shifts can support staff and operations during busier periods. Day shift: 6am-6pm Night shift: 6pm-6am

These two 12-hour shifts make up the 24 hours in a day with no overlapping hours. This is specifically in use if there is a limited number of vehicles or machinery and the company operates their whole fleet 24-hours a day. Day shift: 5am-1pm Night shift: 1pm-9pm Overnight shift: 9pm-5am

This type of roster shows how three equal 8-hour shifts perfectly make up 24 hours, with no overlap. Again this might be because there is a limited number of vehicles or machinery and they are operating the entire fleet 24-hours a day. 12-hour shifts

12-hour shifts have become the norm in many 24-hour operations, as more hours worked in fewer shifts usually means more days off in between shifts. From a managerial point of view, 12-hour shifts are also usually easier to roster.

But do 12-hour shifts pose a risk to employees? Whether it's a nurse making critical decisions at 4 in the morning, during the final few hours of their gruelling 12-hour shift, or a mine worker struggling through a long shift after a poor rest in the preceding days or weeks, longer shifts increase fatigue and the risk of a drowsy episode. Along with fatigue come the inevitable effects that include slower reaction times and a higher risk of error or injury.

Those who work in emergency and rapid response industries generally know their roster several weeks in advance, which makes planning and management a little easier. And it's not just the shift worker that has to deal with tricky shifts: their families, too, need to support their line of work and adapt to these more unusual hours.

Stage one: preparing for night shift

Leading up to a shift, it's important shift workers give themselves an adequate opportunity to get good quality rest.

The first place to start is at home: shift workers need to ensure their bedroom is comfortable, cool, and dark. They know to avoid curling up on the couch to catch a few ZZZs, which can potentially affect their ability to sleep later in the day and typically they need to teach themselves that the bedroom is the only place for good quality sleep.

Preparing for night shift means sleeping during the day, which against the body's natural rhythm, can be tough. So in instances where shift workers struggle to stay in bed in the morning, they can take advantage of any built-up fatigue through a late afternoon nap. This is difficult though if they have children at home or they live in an area prone to day-time noise and activity. Sufficient rest between shifts

The quality of rest workers receive during their days off is directly linked to health and their ability to perform well at work.

Sufficient rest between shifts often falls outside of an employer's scope in many industries, as companies are limited by how much control they can exert on how a shift worker spends their time when they are not at work.

A good shift worker takes responsibility for this time spent outside of work. They continuously manage fatigue, allowing themselves to receive the best possible rest in between shifts.

Stage two: commuting to the shift

By this stage, we hope shift workers have proactively worked towards getting the maximum of good quality sleep leading up to their shift.

While commuting to work, they should feel confident they are energised, alert and well rested. Depending on the length of the commute however, it can affect their overall alertness during and after they have finished their shift. Long commutes before and after work all contribute to the person's overall fatigue or drowsiness risk and some companies overcome this by arranging transport to and from site for them.

Stage three: during the shift

Depending on the line of work, shift workers may find themselves performing tasks requiring different levels concentration. A few examples are touched on below. Security guards:

Security guards must remain alert at all times, detecting unusual behaviour in their immediate surrounds. Security is one of those jobs that is only stressful when something untoward and unexpected happens. While this is a good thing, there's no denying much of security work can be dull and therefore increases the risk of drowsiness regardless of the quality and quantity of sleep they have received. 24/7 operations:

High impact operations include energy, mining and oil and gas industries. Depending on the role, often workers are required to make critical decisions with wide ranging impacts if not made correctly and within standardised procedures.

Without sufficient rest leading up to a shift (and in between shifts) the risk of injury or a lapse in judgement increases. This blog post highlights the role of fatigue in some of the world's biggest disasters, including Chernobyl and the Challenger disaster. Pilots and other travel:

The air industry never sleeps.

Whether it's a flight halfway around the world or a quick trip interstate, pilot fatigue is one of the biggest concerns in this industry. Irregular hours, long commute times and half a dozen time zones can mess horribly with one's circadian rhythm.

Similarly, public transport services can run at all hours in order to make use of downtime where guests can nap in comfort as their driver transports them between major cities.

While great for commuters, it once again raises the question around the driver and whether they have adequately rested leading up to a long drive. Medical:

We rely on medical professionals at all hours of the day and night, should we or someone close to us require urgent medical attention. Nurses and doctors are some of the hardest working individuals, working long shifts at all hours to deliver us the support we need.

Nursing shifts vary depending on the facility, but it is common for medical staff to work gruelling 12-hour shifts. As mentioned above, this is a popular solution as it results in more days off between shifts.

Stage four: travelling home after an overnight shift

The trip home after a night shift is perhaps the most dangerous times to be behind the wheel. Your reaction times and concentration are significantly worse compared to other times of the day.

Shift workers are one of a few groups more susceptible to have a drowsiness-related accident (other groups include males and adults aged between 18 and 29). As such, the commute home, especially during the early hours in the morning following an overnight shift, is one of the most dangerous times to be driving.

Are your shift workers at risk?

With Optalert's technology, you can protect your employees at all times by protecting your most valuable assets on the way to work, at work and on the way home. Read more about our unique all-hour protection here.

Source: Company Website

March 15, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd: The future of road safety

For as long as road travel has existed, so too have road accidents.

Consequently, actions have been taken to improve safety and reduce the risk of a road injury or fatality. Could autonomous vehicles be the largest impact on car safety we have ever seen? It looks likely.

Road safety has been continuously evolving. From road signs and indicators to seatbelts and traffic lights, the end goal has always been to improve safety. We recently published a blog post that takes a look back through the history of road safety; now, it's only appropriate to look towards the future of road safety.

Source: Company Website

February 10, 2017: Optalert Pty Ltd; The evolution of road safety

As we take a look back at the evolution of road safety, it's interesting to see how much has changed; most of which has occurred just within the last 200 years. From the horse-drawn carriage to sensors, cameras, and Bluetooth technology, a lot has happened in the road safety sphere over the past few decades and I can't wait to see what happens in the future. History of road safety Horse and carriage accidents While the term "road safety" instantly conjures up images of today's modern cars, road accidents were occurring even before the invention of the motor vehicle. The humble horse and carriage, when used as both a goods and passenger conveyer, combined with a lack of road rules resulted in numerous accidents, injuries, and deaths.

You might think roads with slower and fewer vehicles would lessen the risk of accidents, but the ease in which people could be ejected from an open cart, combined with a vehicle that is a horse, susceptible to spooking from the smallest of actions, means that carriage accidents resulted in legitimate injuries and even death. Goods were also severely destroyed when thrown from a cart.

The invention of the car The invention of the first car is preceded by two important inventions: 1807 - Francois Issac de Rivaz designed the first car that was powered by an internal engine fuelled by hydrogen 1865 - Siegfried Marcus built the first gasoline powered combustion engine De Rivaz's design and Marcus' build were simply elements of what could be, until Karl Benz combined the two ideas and developed a petrol-powered automobile around 1885. Not long after we started driving cars, however, we also started getting injured by them. The following inventions were designed to reduce that risk.

Indicators We chastise those who neglect to use them today, but did you know that one of the first cars to have electric turn signals fitted wasn't until 1938? Mechanical turning signals were developed earlier, and before those, hand signals were used to indicate your intentions to other drivers.

Lap seatbelt The lap seatbelt is also referred to as a "two-point" seatbelt, as it extended across the waist from one side of a person to the other. The concept is similar to the modern-day aircraft seatbelt. This design was invented in the early 1900s.

Australia Australian law required all car occupants to use fitted seatbelts in 1973. It became compulsory in Victoria and South Australia a few years earlier. Canada In 1976, Ontario became the first Canadian province to introduce mandatory seatbelt laws. The rest of the country subsequently followed. UK In the UK, many governments fought for seat belt legislation (in terms of compulsory wearing) throughout the 60s and 70s. Fitting became mandatory in 1967, but wearing did not until 1983.

USA The US introduced mandatory seatbelt installation as early as 1961 (in Wisconsin), however the first state to pass the law of mandatory wear was New York in 1984. Laws vary considerably state-by-state.

Three-point seatbelt The three-point seatbelt is just that: a belt that is, in appearance, a combination of the lap belt combined with a diagonal 'sash' belt. The three-point seat belt standard is in most vehicles today. Volvo introduced the three-point seatbelt in 1959. Volvo patented the design but, "in the interest of safety, made it available to other car manufacturers for free" (Source).

You might notice in slightly older cars that the centre seat in the back still has a lap seatbelt. Newer cars have replaced this belt, too, with the more modern (and safer) three-point seatbelt. Road safety Road signs Did you know Detroit was the first US city to use stop signs, lane markings, and traffic signals? Around 1908, the city realised the sheer volume of people driving around with no experience (remember, anyone could drive without restrictions) and no boundaries - in terms of signage - was resulting in what the city believed to be avoidable deaths.

The first traffic lights Traffic police would control the flow of traffic until 1914 when the first set of red and green traffic lights were successfully installed in Cleveland, Ohio. The first three-colour traffic light was invented by police officer William Potts in Detroit, Michigan in 1920.

Airbags Airbags have had a rather long history. The idea was first conceived in 1941, and a decade later, American John W Getrick patented the first airbag use. By the '70s traction slowed, as it was discovered airbags didn't work as effectively with lap seatbelts. As three-point seatbelts grew in popularity, manufacturers began creating airbag solutions to work in conjunction with this safer belt. In the US, all cars produced after 1998 require airbags. Since, then, an average of 2000 lives a year are saved by airbags.

Reverse cameras Rear-facing technology is a great tool for those of us who rely on a little more help when reversing and parking. It is also helpful for those with small children by literally giving us eyes in the back of our heads. Audio cues alert you to close obstacles while the camera helps make some manoeuvring tasks easier.

Bluetooth No matter how much its drilled into our heads, there are still people foolish enough to think it is OK to continue using a handheld device - like a smartphone - while behind the wheel. Bluetooth technology lets us answer calls and change the music without looking away from the road or taking our hands off the wheel.

The future of road safety Now that we've caught up to the present, there's no better time to take a quick look into the future of road safety.

We'll delve deeper in a future blog post (so subscribe now to keep up to date) but for now, let's look at:

Video technology begins to replace mirrors We've mentioned this futuristic step in a previous blog post. In June 2016, Japan became one of the first countries in the world to replace side mirrors with video technology. The goal is to eliminate potentially hazardous "blind spots" as well as removing a mirror's obstruction due to weather conditions like rain or glare.

Technology replaces drivers Of course, no conversation about the future of road safety can happen without mentioning autonomous or driverless vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are advancing at a steady rate through many small victories, rather than fewer and larger breakthroughs. More information on the exciting notion of autonomous vehicles can be found in this blog post.

Source: Company Website

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