Problems Associated with Fatigue

Fatigue increases the risk of injuries or other accidents. As an employer, ensure your workers are not experiencing signs or effects of fatigue on the job. You can help make your workers and your business safer by including information on fatigue and sleep in your safety guidelines and orientations. You can also develop a fatigue management plan. 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 cause: (Staff, 2018)

  • Depression (major depressive disorder)
  • Diabetes
  • Emphysema
    signs of fatigue
    In the context of occupational health and safety, fatigue refers to mental or physical exhaustion that reduces one’s capacity to perform work safely and effectively. The causes, however, aren’t always just work-related. Some of the most common signs for fatigue include: (AskMayoExpert., 2014)
    • Prolonged or intense mental or physical activity
    • Sleep loss or disrupted sleep
    • Travel
    • Organizational change
    • Irregular work scheduling or excessively long shifts
    • Strenuous activity
    • Long commutes to and from work
    • Extremely hot or cold work environments

risks associated with fatigue and procedures for managing the risk of fatigue
 shift workers – workers are supposed to be shifted from either from working during day time to night shift depending on various factors including age and health of the worker

 night workers – night shift workers should be given a bonus payment because they are risking their lives due to insecurity and other factors to ensure that the activities in the organisation are running smoothly.

 fly-in, fly-out workers – workers how fly to various places should also be given a certain amount of time to get some rest before resuming to work, due to jet lag and other factors during flying.

 emergency service workers – emergency workers should always be given a reasonable notice before reporting to duty, so that they are well prepare thus
ensuring they will be able to deliver projects without straining which contributes to fatigues (Piazza GM, 2014)
proposed strategies for managing fatigue and relationship to hierarchy of control
Minimize sleep loss
Promoting quantity and quality sleep is an essential factor for ensuring optimal performance during work time. Generally speaking, majority of people need about 8 h of sleep per day to preserve full alertness. A few people can function well on sleep less than 8 h. Obtaining only 6 h for an individual who requires 8 h of sleep result to sleep-deprivation by 2h. It is recommended to have adequate resting time before a shift.
Good sleeping habits
There are specific strategies that can help improve each sleep opportunity, and some of them include: When possible keep a regular sleep/wake schedule to avoid circadian disruption; reserve the bedroom for sleep and not for work, if possible; develop a comforting presleep routine such as listening radio; avoid frequent naps during the day; get out of bed if there is a trouble with falling asleep
Circadian adaptation
The circadian rhythms in shift workers do not usually phase shift to adapt totally to sleeping during the day and working at night. This situation results in poor performance, fatigue, and reduced alertness during working time. Appropriate timed exposure to bright light and administration of exogenous melatonin help to produce circadian adaptation to night work. Bright light exposure in the evening delay the circadian phase to a later position, whereas exposure to bright light in the morning advances the circadian phase to an earlier position.
I could give an advice to the management to add a free regular check up for all staff in the workplace. But before the invention of this, let each and every one at least try to follow the policies and procedures if WHS set by the organisation.
Add this report and memo to your WHS filing system. Email a screen shot of the updated folders/files.

AskMayoExpert. (2014). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research;.
Piazza GM, e. a. (2014). Bone, joint and muscle injuries. . ACEP First Aid Manual.
Staff, M. C. (2018). Fatigue. Lifestyle factors.

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