We all know that tired and fatigued workers are less productive but did you know they are 30% more likely to have an accident (source). Both employers and workers themselves have a responsibility to make sure they are alert enough to do their job.
As outlined by WorkSafe NZ, PCBUs must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers, and that others are not put at risk from their work. Some ideas for minimising fatigue in workers:
- Rotate physically demanding tasks.
- Ensure there is a suitable staff break area.
- Provide cool drinking water.
- Monitor and place limits around overtime. Implement controls around shift swapping and illness cover. Make sure there is a policy in place to ensure workers get necessary breaks between shifts if they are working hours different to their roster.
- Foster a culture which allows supervisors to be made aware of personal circumstances that affect your workers and provide support. Give them time off when necessary.
- Include fatigue as a discussion point in team meetings. Train your workers on the signs of fatigue and ensure they know that they can speak to their supervisors if they have any concerns.
Visit the WorkSafe NZ Fatigue Quick Guide for more ideas on managing tiredness and fatigue in the workplace.