Studies show that 17 hours without sleep impairs your driving in the same way as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent
When we consider fatigue at work, we might think of working long hours or changing sleeping patterns (shift work). However, fatigue can have a complex interplay of contributing factors at the organisation, work and individual levels.
Work and organisational factors:
Fatigue can be physical and it can be mental. It’s important to touch base with workers and observe signs of fatigue. Safe Work Australia notes the following as signs of fatigue:
Fatigue may increase the risk of incidents because of a lack of alertness. Safe Work Australia notes that fatigue may result in a slower reaction to signals or situations and affect the ability to make good decisions, particularly when:
The Sleep Health Foundation says that fatigue impairment is similar to being on drugs or sedative: “studies show that 17 hours without sleep impairs your driving in the same way as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent.”
It’s the responsibility of employers to ensure the health and safety of workers while they are at work.
Safe Work Australia has put together a comprehensive guide on minimising the risk associated with fatigue in the workplace, which you can access here.
If you would like assistance monitoring the health and wellbeing of your workforce, speak to your Workplace Health Provider. They will offer advice and can suggest solutions to address any fatigue related issues in your workplace.
You may also like to download and print our posters which have tips on managing fatigue and lack of sleep. Place these in a common area where your workers can see them.
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