Fatigue represents a physical and/or mental exhaustion that prevents a person from being able to function efficiently. If fatigue permeates the workplace, the risk of injuries and other accidents increases. As an employer, you have to be vigilant about signs or effects of fatigue in your employees. You can help keep your workers safe by undertaking measures that minimize their fatigue. Here are some that come highly recommended by occupational medicine providers:
Follow Working time regulations
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has guidelines that set the standard on the period of time that an employee spends at paid occupational labor. These guidelines limit the number of hours that employee can work so that he or she can have ample time for sleep, rest and relaxation activities.
Redesign shift schedules and/or workplace amenities
Following the Department of Labor’s work hour guidelines is helpful in the fight against workplace fatigue, but you need to complement it with other measures to maximize its effectiveness. One such measure that you can apply is to redesign shift schedules to give workers enough time for continuous sleep. If your business calls for overtime and long hours, consider providing amenities such as nap areas, prepared meals, etc.
Implement fatigue management training programs
Certain agencies provide training and information on how businesses can help manage workplace fatigue. Research these agencies and contact them to inquire about these programs. Look for an agency that has plenty of experience in your particular industry.
Develop employee fatigue risk assessment practices
Fatigue should be considered as a serious workplace hazard and managed like one. Your business needs to carry out regular risk assessments that identify any aspect of your operation that can result in fatigue for your employees. With such a reporting system in place, you can ensure that your employees are performing at an adequate level of alertness whenever they are on the clock.
Is fatigue is affecting your employees’ effectiveness?
If you are observing a dip in performance, it may be time for you to have your employees undergo a health checkup to see how they are doing and if fatigue is already impacting them negatively. Partnering with an occupational medicine service provider such as U.S. HealthWorks can help you stay on top of your employees’ health.
(Sleeping on the job? Managing fatigue in the workplace, RospaWorkplaceSafety.com)
(Work Hours, DOL.gov)