Fatigue increases the risk of injuries or other accidents. Fatigue is a state of feeling very tired, exhausted, weary, or sleepy. Fatigue results from a lack of sleep and can be heightened from prolonged mental activity or long periods of stress or anxiety. Boring or repetitive tasks can also intensify feelings of fatigue. Fatigue can be acute or chronic.
THE EFFECTS OF FATIGUE CAN REDUCE A WORKER’S:
• Ability to make decisions
• Ability to do complex planning
• Communication skills
• Productivity and performance
• Ability to handle stress
• Reaction time
• Ability to recall details
• Ability to respond to changes in surroundings or information provided
• Fatigue can also result in:
• Inability to stay awake
• Increased forgetfulness
• Increased errors in judgment
CAUSES OF FATIGUE
Fatigue is caused primarily by long hours of being awake. Other causes include extended shifts, shift rotations (days and nights), and irregular or disrupted sleep. Workplace factors, such as the following, can also increase feelings of fatigue:
• High temperatures
• High noise levels
• Dim lighting or poor visibility
• Work tasks that are long, repetitive, paced, difficult, boring, or monotonous
HOW TO HELP WORKERS STAY SAFE
• Get at least 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep a day.
• Establish regular eating times.
• Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, especially before bedtime.
• Exercise regularly.
• If the job requires long hours or overtime, workers will need enough time for other daily activities, such as commuting, preparing and eating meals, socializing, and relaxing.
• Work environment that has good lighting, comfortable temperatures, and reasonable noise levels.
• Ensure that jobs provide some variety, with work tasks that change throughout the shift.