Safety Alert – A bit sleepy are we…

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Fatigue in the Workplace

There can be many different effects of fatigue on workers including things that impact concentration, distraction, decision making, vigilance, recognizing risks, coordination, and communication.  Fatigue can certainly lead to mistakes being made at work and also an increased likelihood in accidents or injuries.  It’s important to consider both work related and non-work related factors that influence a workers’ level of fatigue and to then consider what can be done to increase awareness in these areas and to help minimize or eliminate their influence.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Are their jobs within your workplace which are considered to be mentally or physically demanding?
  • Is there variation in regular work schedules?
  • Are workers required to work overnights or be on-call?
  • Do employees work over 12 hours in a single day?
  • Is work performed in extreme conditions (i.e. hot or cold)?

What action can you do to prepare for emergencies in the workplace

  • Review all work related factors that can contribute to fatigue.  Important considerations should include: mental & physical demands, work scheduling, night work, long shits/shift work, environmental conditions.
  • Once you have identified areas that can increase fatigue levels, consider measures that can help to minimize or reduce these factors.
  • Seek employee feedback on ways to reduce these factors.
  • Train managers and employees to become familiar with the signs of workplace fatigue and what steps should be taken to intervene before an injury occurs.
  • Train employees to be familiar with how non-work related factors can contribute to workplace fatigue.  Establish an employee wellness program that encourages and rewards good behaviors.
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