More than one in ten workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue*. Being tired on the job puts you and everyone around you at risk for serious injury. According to experts, fatigue has the following effects on your body:
- Trouble thinking and concentrating
- Memory issues
- Poor Balance
- Slowed reaction time
- Inability to stay awake
- Diminished communication skills
There isn’t a safe way to be fatigued in the workplace, it simply isn’t possible. So what can be done to prevent fatigue related injuries?
According to a study conducted by the National Safety Council, the vast majority of employers want to understand what causes employee fatigue, but many refuse to adjust schedules or tasks to prevent fatigue. More than half of all employers admit to scheduling an employee on a night shift immediately before or after a day shift, and the majority of employers do not have resting areas for employees.
Safety and Health Magazine suggests employers implement a fatigue risk management system that includes the following:
- Balancing workload and staffing
- Shift scheduling
- Training for employees on fatigue and managing sleep disorders
- Workplace design
- Monitoring of fatigue
We can all do our part to prevent fatigue. Taking the following steps may reduce your likelihood of being involved in a fatigue-related accident:
- Talk to your doctor about health issues. Fatigue is a symptom of a number of serious illnesses and conditions, including sleep apnea (untreated sleep apnea can have devastating consequences, especially for those in the transportation industry).
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration is directly linked to fatigue. Being dehydrated can decrease your ability to concentrate and can also reduce alertness.
- Go to bed early. If you are unable to get a good night’s sleep (between 7 to 9 hours) a 10- minute nap may boost energy.
Experts also suggest regular exercise and eating small meals throughout the day.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Fatigue-Related Accident
If you were injured because your employer knowingly failed to prevent fatigue in the workplace, or if another person was fatigued behind the wheel and caused a car crash, contact us today.
*Source: National Safety Council