With more and more people working longer and longer hours, fatigue in the workplace has become a real concern. Courses on Fatigue management teach how to assess the risk of injury or financial loss and ways of lowering that risk.
While assessing these risks are important, and everything possible needs to be done to mitigate these risks, one very important aspect of risk management seems to be getting less attention than it deserves. That is: preventing fatigue in the first place.
Fatigue is the Problem: But Why?
The problem is that even though fatigue causes problems in the work environment, lowering production and increasing the chances of accidents not all “causes” of fatigue are work related. Poor sleeping habits due to a newborn or stress at home can lead to fatigue that can affect job performance. When you combine these causes with those work related causes that leads to fatigue then prevention becomes a pretty tricky issue.
However, there are still things that you can do that will lessen or prevent fatigue in some cases, which will result in a more productive and safer work environment.
Here are just a few low cost things your business can do to help lessen or prevent fatigue:
- Rotate jobs whenever possible during the workday. Changing jobs two or three times a day helps employees stay “fresh” and more alert. Of course, there are some jobs where this is impossible but whenever it is possible it could result in your employees feeling less fatigue.
- Break Time Exercise Opportunities. Getting outside in the fresh air or simply getting a bit of exercise during breaks can help fight off that fatigue. Placing a basketball hoop in a convenient location or even supplying a place where employees can sit at a picnic table can help fight fatigue and re-energize someone before they get too tired.
- The Scent of Citrus. As silly as it may sound aroma therapy has proven to work and the scent of citrus can clear the mind and make your employees feel more energetic. You can use citrus candles in the lunchroom or waft a citrus scent through work areas to help your employees feel less tired.
- Prepare a handout for getting sufficient sleep at home. You can also do a little research and prepare a handout for all your employees that gives them tips for combating stress and offering ways to relax and ideas that promotes more restful sleep at home.
- Encourage your employees to come to you when they feel fatigued. If your employees feel that they can come to you when they are feeling overwhelmed with fatigue, the chances are that you can deal with the situation before an accident occurs and someone gets injured or worse.
Doing what you can and taking a few small steps that may help reduce or eliminate fatigue before it occurs can help make your fatigue management plan go that much smoother and save you and your employees money in lost wages, financially expensive mistakes, injury or worse.
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