Exhausted warehouse worker sleeping n packages in distribution warehouse.

Five Ways to Reduce Worker Fatigue and Improve Safety

Denise GillinRisk Management

By Toby Graham on the Succeed / KPA Risk Management Platform

Give us a break! Literally, if you’re tired of inaction on this critical issue and want to ensure the members of your workforce are well-rested – and therefore safe and able to perform at their best – here are a few workplace practices to adopt today:

Know the signs. Know what to look for. The NSC recommends staying mindful of cognitive issues, such as “decreased vigilance, attention, memory, and concentration.”

Break up long shifts. Try to avoid having an individual work for longer than 10 hours straight, and schedule frequent breaks.

Pay close attention to night shift workers. Whenever possible, avoid overtaxing your night shift workers, give them plenty of breaks, and provide them with additional support.

Encourage people to speak up about fatigue. Make it easy for employees to report their concerns to supervisors. And definitely don’t discipline employees for their fatigue – you’ll only discourage others from coming forward.

Train, train, train. Few employees and employers were able to correctly identify the factors that contribute to fatigue, the proper amount of time for rest breaks, the facts about sleep apnea, or the signs of drowsy driving.

Fatigue is one of many problems safety leaders face. To get a cultural change to stick, we have to make it into a habit that everyone – from frontline employees to leadership – will naturally, automatically follow.

For more information on this topic – including COVID-19 fatigue, read the full article here.

Contact a member of the Murray Risk Control Team at 717.397.9600 for additional assistance on resources and tools for prevention, including materials contained in the Succeed / KPA risk management platform.

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