Norwegian Shipping Company Adopts Coast Guard Fatigue Management System

Sunnex Biotechnologies is collaborating with the Norwegian Shipping Health Service (Norsk Rederihelsetjeneste) and the Norwegian shipping company Eidesvik Offshore to adapt the fatigue management system developed by the U.S. Coast Guard to the needs of the European shipping industry.

The Crew Endurance Management System (CEMS) was developed by the USCG R&D Center using the patented low-intensity GreenLight technology from Sunnex Biotechnologies to realign night shift workers’ body clocks with their sleep and work schedules, thereby improving performance and well-being.

After years of laboratory trials and studies with the GreenLIGHT System on operational Coast Guard cutters and commercial vessels, U.S. maritime companies are currently implementing CEMS protocols on commercial vessels operating on inland and coastal waterways of the U.S. with support from the USCG and the American Waterways Operators (AWO).

Misaligned sleep patterns are known to contribute to increased levels of health problems among night workers, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Adjusting the body clock of night shift workers through light management technology can rapidly align the internal body clock of workers with their night work schedule so that they do not continue to work and sleep contrary to their internal day/night cycles. The low intensity GreenLIGHT system is well suited to this purpose because of its adaptability to any work environment, as well as its comfort and safety.

Knut Omdal MD, CEO of Norsk Rederihelsetjeneste, is leading the program to adapt the USCG’s CEMS program to the needs of the European shipping industry. From May 10 through May 14 2006 Dr. Omdal met with CEMS Experts, Captain Michael Sanders and Jo Ann Salyers to receive training and be certified as a coach in the CEMS program.

In the fall of 2006 the program was implemented on board the Viking Avant, a Platform Supply Vessel (PSV). This first European implementation of a CEMS-like program emphasized changes to the shift scheduling of the night shift as well a light management program utilizing Sunnex Biotechnologies’ GreenLIGHT fixtures. According to Dr. Omdal “The experiences on board so far have been very positive. The message back from the crew underlines that they consider that they have obtained much better working and living conditions on board.”

The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT has been used successfully to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for over ten years. Recent studies published in the Journal for Clinical Psychiatry and Archives of General Psychiatry have found the patented low-intensity green light technology used in the GreenLIGHT System and the Lo-LIGHT to be effective for the treatment of major depression and bipolar depression.

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