Are your workers being overworked on the job? Fatigue is a serious issue in jobs that require physical labor. June is National Safety Month, with the Week 3 Topic focusing on Worker Fatigue.
Injury rates are higher among workers who are tired and not getting enough sleep. According to Safety and Health Magazine, “The estimated annual injury incidence rate per 100 workers is 7.89 for U.S. workers who usually sleep less than five hours per day, compared with 2.27 per 100 workers among those who tend to sleep between seven and eight hours, according to research from Lombardi and others, using data from the National Health Interview Survey.” (Safety and Health Magazine) Employers should refrain from having workers work extra overtime, to encourage a good night’s rest. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours a night for adults. The National Sleep Foundation also encourages worker breaks, in between shifts, and well as caffeinated beverage be consumed during the first half of the shift, versus the second half.
As stated in a Liberty Mutual report, in Safety and Health Magazine, there are various recommendations for scheduling.
- Working during the day rather than at night
- Restricting consecutive day shifts to five or six days and night shifts to four days
- Ensuring workers have at least two consecutive days off
- Making schedules consistent
- Providing frequent breaks
- (Source: Safety and Health Magazine)
By providing proper scheduling for your employees, your workers will become less fatigued and more focused on the tasks presented to them. A less fatigued workplace is a more productive workplace. If you notice employees over exhausted or fatigued, allow them to take a short break.