It’s common for people to feel tired in the day, especially those who are busy and constantly on the go. Tiredness is often easily resolvable with simple rest and recuperation. However, excessive fatigue can create issues for employees. It can negatively affect their performance thus, making them more vulnerable to experiencing accidents at the workplace.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), fatigue at work is “the issue that arises from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns”. Fatigue can have many types of effects on people including; slower reactions, reduced energy, absent-mindedness, decreased awareness and a lack of attention. The effects of fatigue can also be intensified from boring, monotonous or repetitive tasks.
High levels of fatigue among employees can cause issues within any working sector. However, those working within high risk environments become significantly more vulnerable. A good example would be a lorry driver working long hours. Construction workers, responsible for operating heavy machinery would also be vulnerable. Ultimately, it only takes a lack of concentration for a split second for a serious accident to occur.
Employers should take this seriously as they are responsible for the physical and mental well-being of their staff. Mistakes caused due to fatigue can also have serious financial consequences. Within recent reports, the HSE revealed mistakes caused by tiredness and fatigue costs the UK around £115 -£240 million per year.
Below are 5 simple tips on beating fatigue at the workplace:
- Regular Breaks – It is highly important that employees take short breaks throughout the day. Whether they are carrying out manual work or simply sat at a desk staring at a screen, this is critical and should be implemented into every working day.
- Working Environment – The environment in which employees work within is a key factor to their well being. Ensure the working environment is clean, tidy and well lit.
- Keep Hydrated – It’s important for an employee’s physical health that they keep themselves hydrated. Encourage staff to drink by giving them easy access to water.
- Keep a Record – Record employee over time hours to ensure they are not exceeding the maximum number that they should be working.
- Highlight the importance of a good work-life balance – It is crucial that employees are getting enough rest when out of working hours. Studies have found that mistakes caused by workers are significantly increased when they haven’t had more than 5 hours of sleep.
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