If we asked you to name the safety hazards in your workplace, many of you probably wouldn’t include fatigue on that list—and that could be a mistake. Fatigue can be a very serious problem in some workplaces—and expose workers to an increased risk of injury.
Hazards Posed by Fatigue
If workers fall asleep or are exhausted on the job, they can endanger themselves as well as others. For example, according to one study, workers who work nights or rotating shifts may be twice as likely to get hurt on the job as workers on day shifts.
In addition, fatigued workers also pose a hazard when they leave work and drive home. (Click here for more information on the hazards of drowsy driving.) In fact, employers could be held liable if an exhausted worker gets into a traffic accident after his shift. (Here’s a Model Notice you can give workers on recognizing the signs of fatigue.)
And worker fatigue can hurt the company’s bottom line.
So what can you do to manage fatigue if it’s a problem in your workplace? One way is through a fatigue risk management system. Click here to learn how to implement such a system. You can also download a Model Fatigue Management Policy.