Fatigue can affect your business, regardless of the industry. Some work industries may have a higher risk of fatigue than others perhaps due to shift work or travel however it should always be considered when assessing and managing risks in the workplace.
Fatigue can manifest in several ways. Some signs of fatigue can be:
- Muscle weakness or soreness
- Moodiness and irritability
- Change in personality
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Slower reflexes and reduced hand-eye coordination
- Blurred vision
- Short term memory problems
- Unable to concentrate
- A need for extended sleep during days off work
- Tiredness even after sleeping
Fatigue can be from physical, mental or emotion triggers such as:
- Disruption from the internal body clock
- Working in exceptionally hot or cold working environments
- Work scheduling
- Long shifts
- Inadequate rest time between swifts
- Sleep loss
These lists are not exclusive with several factors potentially contributing to fatigue in a worker.
Managing fatigue can be as simple as:
- Discussing the issue with workers about what could be causing the fatigue (it may not be work related)
- Considering the impact of workloads and schedules.
- Can rostering be adjusted to better suit the work environment
- Avoid long working hours and early morning starts
- Considering travel expectations and time differences if travelling between regions
- Are environmental conditions considered and how can they be measured
- Implement a workplace fatigue policy and communicate to workers and management, ensuring the policy is implemented and carried out
Encourage your managers and workers to discuss their concerns with you and promote a healthy safety culture from upper management to grow a good culture through the workforce.
Contact the Safety Solutions WA team of WHS Consultants for further advice on how your business can proactively manage fatigue in the workplace and make your workplace safer.