Determining the Optimal Work-Rest Cycle for HazMat Response: Effects of HazMat Operations on Cognitive and Physiological Performance (77164)

Session Information:

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 15:30
Session: Poster Session 2
Room: Orion Hall (5F)
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

To detect, handle, and contain hazardous chemicals and toxins, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Hazardous Materials (HazMat) specialists undergo regular trainings where they don their personal protective equipment and simulate the processes and tasks necessary for responding to an actual incident. To maintain their operational fitness, however, these training sessions are often played out in a much faster pace than actual incidents. An open question now is if the cognitive and physiological fitness of our HazMat specialists is differently affected by the different rest durations between training and actual operations. This study presents the first attempt to systematically examine current practices, and to determine the optimal work-rest cycle based on cognitive and physiological measures.

A total of 120 HazMat specialists were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either 15, 30, or 45 minutes of rest between two rounds of HazMat training. Cognitive and physiological measures were administered periodically before and after each HazMat training. The Psychomotor Vigilance Task and the Operation Span Task were used to measure vigilance and working memory, respectively. Maximal and average heart rate, body temperature, and oxygen saturation levels were taken as indication of physiological fitness. Self-reported measures, the Rating-of-Fatigue scale and the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion scale were also administered.

Data collection is still ongoing, and we aim to complete it by December 2023. Interim findings suggest that while 15 minutes may be helpful in terms of a faster working memory recall, vigilance performance, however, may suffer.

Jennifer Ang, Home Team Science & Technology Agency, Singapore
Juliana Koh, Home Team Science & Technology Agency, Singapore
Lowell Chong, Home Team Science & Technology Agency, Singapore
Xueyi Yong, Home Team Science & Technology Agency, Singapore
Nurshahidah Roslie, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
Nisha V, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Jennifer Ang is a Civil Servant at Home Team Science & Technology Agency in Singapore

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00