Thousands of Australians will be spared injury by the work of an exciting research consortium launched 29 Jan that is charged with alleviating fatigue and boosting productivity. The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Alertness, Safety and Productivity is an alliance of technology companies, academics, regulators and employers who are joining forces to develop cutting-edge new devices and systems that help protect workers and drivers from fatigue.
Professor Ron Grunstein, head of the Woolcock Institute's Sleep and Circadian Research group, is the Education and Advocacy Chair for the CRC. The consortium will be focused on accurate, real-time alertness tests through "new biomarkers of alertness that test a worker's sweat or saliva" and "dynamic lighting systems that can reset the body clock and directly activate the brain to improve alertness and performance".
Almost 10,000 serious workplace injuries and more than 25,000 serious road crash injuries are caused by poor alertness each year. Over $5 billion a year in Australia is lost in productivity and healthcare costs and over $31 billion a year in the loss of healthy life. Over 20% of the population is affected by a sleeping disorder and the work of the CRC will protect workers and drivers from fatigue, improve workplace efficiency and improve quality of life.
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