Companies must be made aware of the effects fatigue has on the workplace. Fatigue can result from poor quality of sleep or from contributing factors due to change in time that occurs every March and November. The time has come once again, that we return to standard time. Many studies have shown that change in time affects one’s natural sleep pattern to the extent that it has negative effects on the worker’s health and safety, because of this, many businesses have added Fatigue Risk Management in the workplace to the company policy so that the sleep-related hazard can be addressed.
• Effects on worker’s health and safety.
• Understanding risk factors associated with fatigue and the effect on job performance.
• Company cost loss due to decreased production and increased employee illness and injury due
• Awareness and education regarding fatigue risk factors at the management level.
• Implementing a strategy to combat the hazards associated with fatigue.
Fatigue and sleep deprivation can effect worker’s job performance involving reaction time, decision making, judgment, and alertness resulting in lost production, and adding risk to different stages of job related tasks, resulting in illness or injury. Fatigue risks often have a greater impact on tasks involving repetition and perceived as boring by the worker. Driving is a task that involves these elements, and involves almost every worker to some extent, whether the job involves driving as the job task or driving to and from work. During the period immediately following time change back to standard time is an increase in the number of traffic accidents. One of the risk hazards is decreased visibility as a result of darkness setting in as traffic is at its peak.
Recognizing the hazards associated with time change and level of risk to worker’s health, safety, loss in job performance and carefully planning and properly managing fatigue issues in the workplace can minimize the effects on workers and the workplace, and this must be addressed at the management level.
As always, be safe out there!