S02 E07 Mike Harnett

Like a Girl: Fighting fatigue (& the boys) for a safer workplace

Episode Summary

In this episode, Mike Harnett, an international expert and award-winning keynote speaker on the science of fatigue who has consulted for numerous organizations including GM and NASA, talks to Dr. Joti Samra about growing up as a tomboy and working in a male-dominated field. She also shares her own family’s struggles with mental health and how that brought a passion for optimizing worker health, safety, and performance.

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About Mike

Mike Harnett is an industry expert in fatigue management. She utilizes a human factors approach to mitigating fatigue related risk in the workplace. With the goal of optimizing worker health and safety while enhancing organizational performance, Mike offers risk assessment, education and training options, and program development that reflects current evidence-based science.

Mike’s passion for workplace mental health comes from her own personal tragedy of losing her brother, a trucker, to death by suicide. This loss underscored for Mike the critical role of psychologically healthy, supportive and safe work environments. Mike believes that work is like our extended family. Mature workplaces embrace the fact that we are human, and that there are both work factors and life factors that get in the way of us being at our best sometimes. Investing in workplace health reaps benefits in ways that aren’t immediately reflected on the balance sheet, but it will be reflected in values and a shared vision. And that’s what family is all about.

Mike has been working in the field of fatigue for more than thirty years. She is a specialist in assisting various industries, associations and regulatory bodies regarding the implementation of human factors and fatigue risk management systems, and is an active member serving on several Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Technical Committees.

Mike has consulted for various Canadian and US government agencies including NASA, in addition to railways, airport authorities, airlines, trucking, mining, utilities, oil & gas, construction, maritime, food, health, entertainment and first responder industries. She is also an award-winning keynote and technical speaker at OHS, HR and Industry Conferences across North America.

Mike is a subject matter expert on fatigue with The Rail Association of Canada (RAC), The US Federal Rail Association (FRA), WorkSafeBC (Workers Compensation), and Canadian Standards Association.

When she’s not consulting, you’ll find Mike getting physical! She loves working with her hands whether it’s home renovations or gardening. She finds seeing the results of your labour is both rewarding and motivating!

Read Mike’s blog Walking on Sunshine: The Key to Surviving 2020 about managing sleep and fatigue through exposure to light and sunshine

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