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JIAAP Online First

JIAAP July 2016
Effects of Working in Shifts on Alertness in Locomotive Drivers on Indian Railways
Vishnu Kumar , Psycho-Technical Directorate, RDSO, Lucknow, India
The job of driving a train demands a steady level of alertness and sustained attention, which in addition to other cognitive and psychomotor attributes is crucial for ensuring safety in train operation in consonance with stipulated safety rules and procedures. Lack of alertness directly impacts safety therefore, it needs to be overcome for ensuring safe train operation. The present study was conducted with this objective in two interrelated phases. In the first phase, alertness and cortical activation were assessed in three different driving conditions before commencement and after completion of duty. Results of the first phase revealed that those who performed two consecutive night duties exhibited deterioration in overall performance as compared to their colleagues who performed one night duty and one day duty; however, drivers in all the three driving conditions showed shoddy performance after completion of duty. In the second phase, an attempt was made to enhance alertness of locomotive drivers by using an intervention module and the findings suggested that intervention improved their performance on two tasks of alertness. Keywords: Train operation, Locomotive drivers, Alertness, Shift work, Safety.