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June 24, 2016 // Fully Charged Profile: Kelly McGonigal

KellyQ: Tell us about your background. How did you get into your current career field and job?

A: My career field was an extension of my service in the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, I worked as an Inflight Avionics Technician. When I left the service, a job with the FAA was my goal. It took about a year working for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as an electronics technician before the FAA hired me.

Q: How did you get involved in the Fully Charged Workgroup?
A: In the late 1990s I was asked to take on a role as a safety rep. I accepted and have been very involved with safety ever since. I have worked hard throughout my career to do my part to improve the safety culture within the FAA. I saw the request for an article 13 rep for the Fatigue Safety Steering Committee (FSSC) and knew it would be a good fit for me.

Q: What do you want to see changed or improved in the workplace to mitigate fatigue?
A: Fatigue is a part of all of our lives, at home and at work. Employees strive to do good work and many don’t understand the impacts of fatigue. The agency is gaining ground on understanding the need to mitigate fatigue in some areas but not all. I hope to see policies and procedures that not only account for Air Traffic Controller fatigue mitigation but all those involved in the safety of the National Airspace System.

Q: Of what accomplishment are you most proud, regarding Fully Charged efforts?
A: Policies and procedures that have already been put in place, such as the 14 hour work day, work shift management, and the fatigue awareness now in the work place.

Q: Why is Fully Charged important to the workforce?
A: We need to continue awareness and education of practices and policies to mitigate fatigue. We have come a long way as an agency but we still have more to do. It’s an aspect of safety and with safety we can never get complacent or let safety take a break. Fully Charged is a valuable tool for keeping fatigue awareness on all or our minds.


Q: How do you stay Fully Charged?
A: I do my best to plan my activities outside of work to ensure plenty of sleep. I maintain awareness of my fatigue and make adjustments in my sleep schedule as necessary. And I have my daily coffee!