Managing fatigue in the workplace

Managing fatigue in the workplace

How to Manage Workplace Fatigue


Lack of sleep can make people grouchy and slow to react…but did you know it could also put your worker’s life at risk? Countless studies have found that sleepiness behind the wheel is almost as bad as drinking and driving. What is less well-publicised is the role fatigue plays in other types of accidents -  particularly in the workplace.



What Is Fatigue?


Fatigue refers to the decline in mental and physical performance that results from prolonged exertion, sleep loss, and disruption of the internal clock. It can result in tired, distracted and grouchy workers.  



What Causes Fatigue?

There are many individual causes of fatigue, such as late nights out, young children or medical sleep disorders. However, there are also a number of work-related factors that employers should consider. One of the main causes includes poorly designed shift-working arrangements and long working hours, meaning workers accrue a ‘sleep debt’. Night workers are particularly at risk of fatigue because their day sleep is often lighter, shorter, and more easily disturbed.



How Can I Manage The Risks?


A way to manage the risk of fatigue is by placing limits on the number of hours that employees can work. While this sounds easy enough, employee compliance is minimal as everyone wants to earn more! Other measures should therefore be considered, such as:


◉   Fatigue management training programs

◉   Redesigned shift-schedules

◉   Develop employee fatigue reporting schemes



If you'd like to learn more about workplace safety or need expert advice on which safety gear to get for your requirements, feel free to contact us at Elliotts Australia. We would love to assist you! Call us on 07 3265 2944 or send us a message.

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