Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide ) bringing you another interesting point of discussion. We will be looking at fatigue today.
Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion or stress. It is a workplace hazard. It is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace or at home. Fatigue affects your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. It tends to make the individual worker less alert, less productive and more likely to incur injuries or get involved in accidents.
People who are fatigued can be unaware that they are not performing their work or task at their best. The worst case scenario is that they can drop off to sleep in the middle of the task, which can tend to have fatal consequences.
CAUSES OF FATIGUE.
Fatigue is the end result of:
Inadequate sleep for repair and recovery of our body (in each 24-25 hour period)
Working out of harmony with your natural body clock (the natural cycle is to work during daylight and sleep when it is dark)
(c) Extreme physical or mental exertion.
However a range of contributing factors can increase the risk of fatigue. Some factors are work based and some personal, they are as follows:
Work scheduling, rostering or timing
Workload that is machine paced, complex or monotonous, physically or mentally strenuous (or both)
The work environment, eg heat cold, vibration, noise
Workers lifestyle, family responsibilities, ill health.
People who do shift work and heavy vehicle drivers are particularly at risk of fatigue because their natural body clock and sleep rhythms are disrupted. For example research shows shift workers are 6 times more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related road crash than any other workers.
What can I do to reduce fatigue?
Tips for employers.
Fatigue is a workplace hazard, and it needs to be managed in the same way as other hazards. Employers can: 1.Manage the workplace environment and practices to minimise the factors that could contribute to fatigue. Make sure employees understand why they need to manage the risk of fatigue and how to minimise their fatigue level. Encourage staff to manage their personal out of work fatigue risk factors.
Tips for employees.
Work with your employer to manage fatigue-related risks in the workplace. Some simple things you can do at work are: 1.Vary work tasks so you stay alert. 2.Take regular breaks. 3.Notify your supervisor or manager if you’re feeling fatigue. 4.Outside the work environment, you can reduce your risk of fatigue by:
(a).Making sleep a priority; avoid cutting back on sleep in order to fit everything else in. (b).Improving the quality and quantity of your sleep; have a regular bed time routine. (c).Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and comfortable; get treatment for sleep disorders. (d).Choose what you eat and drink carefully: eat light nutritious meals (heavy meals make you drowsy); drink plenty of water; minimise your caffeine and alcohol intake
As with other workplace hazards, management and individuals need to work together to minimize the risk and the effect of fatigue.
The only cure for fatigue is sleep.
So till I come your way next time, it is Goke Akingbade signing off.