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Safety Tip of the Week - The Dangers of Fatigue

January 16, 2020

 

Long Work Hours, Extended or Irregular Shifts Can Cause Worker Fatigue

Adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each day to reach peak performance. Unfortunately, nearly 1/3 of all adult’s report averaging less than six total hours of quality sleep each night. The negative impacts of sleep deprivations are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact in all areas of our lives, including: mood, focus, reaction time.

  • Safety performance decreases as employees become tired
  • You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued
  • Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses

Our busy lives can leave us pressed to squeeze more hours out of the day and to work far into our natural sleep cycle. We’ve all heard the saying life is all about balance and it is most true when it comes to rest. While you may feel like working those late hours is accomplishing more the fact is that if you would get quality sleep you could be  nearly twice as effective if you completed the same task well rested and focused.

 

The OSHA website lists these tips on how employers can reduce the risk of worker fatigue in the workplace by:

  • Examining staffing issues such as workload, work hours, understaffing and worker absences, scheduled and unscheduled, which can contribute to worker fatigue.
  • Arranging schedules to allow frequent opportunities for rest breaks and nighttime sleep.
  • Making adjustments to the work environment such as lighting, temperature and physical surroundings to increase alertness.
  • Providing worker education and training addressing the hazards of worker fatigue, the symptoms of worker fatigue, the impact of fatigue on health and relationships, adequate quality and quantity of sleep and the importance of diet, exercise and stress management strategies to minimize the adverse effects of fatigue.
  • Consider implementing a Fatigue Risk Management Plan under which, like other risk factors, fatigue can be managed.

Learn more about prevention and the effects of fatigue HERE.

 

ABOUT SOS

Safety Operation Services (SOS) is a team of degreed, certified, and passionate safety professionals with a passion to help clients to build and maintain world class safety programs through dynamic cultural development. See how they can benefit your company here.



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