19 July 2022
FluxPlus and Dual Inventive are working in partnership to manage fatigue within the rail sector. CEO Jacob Zeeman and CTO Lex van der Poel of Dual Inventive and CEO Toine Schoutens of FluxPlus signed a declaration of intent on 11 July. Both parties have an understanding of the importance of sustainable employability of railway personnel through improved well-being, health and safety.
Evening and night shifts are common in the rail sector. Fatigue and reduced concentration and alertness have a certain effect on safety and on critical processes in the workplace. People who work long night shifts are more likely than average to suffer from health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
In addition, the entire rail sector is currently facing a shortage of personnel, whether they are signallers, conductors, train drivers, planners or track workers. High workloads, less time to do work and short recovery times are putting extra demands on staff.
Working and sleeping healthier
FluxPlus specialises in chrono-coaching and techniques in the field of light and health. These techniques influence the sleep-wake rhythm, reducing fatigue and improving performance. Dual Inventive develops and produces innovative technology products that make working on the rail infrastructure safer and more efficient.
By combining the expert knowledge of both parties, the companies intend to use existing fatigue management technology (which has been proven in other sectors) for the rail industry. The aim is to ensure railway staff working irregular shift patterns work in a healthier and more sustainable manner, making the railway sector more attractive as an employer.
“Working irregularly or working at night is equivalent to being a professional athlete in a top-class sport. Sustainable deployment of people and resources and care for your workers is more important than ever. That is why we want to use our joint expertise and this proven technology for railway personnel who do night and irregular shift work. In this way, they can also benefit from the health effects,” explains Jacob Zeeman.
“Chrono coaching is a method for shifting your biological, natural rhythm by imitating the blue spectrum in daylight. The dip in the middle of the night can be reduced and the quality and length of daytime sleep after the night shift will increase,” says Toine Schoutens.
This technology is partly built into existing light glasses and has already proven itself in healthcare, the police and in sport.
Further development of light glasses
In the railway industry, the application of fatigue management is still fairly new. Its importance is certainly recognised, and the subject is appearing more and more often at seminars.
“Because wearing safety glasses is common during work on the track, we want to further develop the current light glasses into safety light glasses supported by a cloud-based app,” says Lex van der Poel.
The chrono coaching is precisely tuned to the person via the app on the basis of algorithms.
“With the deployment of these safety light glasses and the intelligent, self-learning app, employers can significantly increase the well-being and health of staff and also the safety during track work.”