The dangers of feeling fatigued at work are numerous. Long working hours and badly thought-out rotas can lead to significant fatigue, which in turn can result in accidents, injuries and more. Fatigue can result from poorly-designed shift patterns which don’t give workers the time they need to rest. It can be the product of heightened exertion, loss of sleep and disrupted internal clocks.
Major dangers of feeling fatigued
More dangers of feeling fatigued include slower reactions, memory lapses, poor co-ordination and a reduced ability to process information. Around 20% of accidents on major roads have been linked to fatigue. Accidents associated with fatigue are generally more likely to occur during night shifts, after a high number of consecutive shifts, when breaks are inadequate and when shifts are long.
Employees have a duty of care to their employees and are expected to manage risks from fatigue, even if the employee in question is happy to work antisocial hours or extra hours. Working hour changes need to be risk assessed and policies on shifts which protect against fatigue and the dangers of feeling fatigued need to be implemented. Night workers are particularly likely to experience fatigue. This is because their sleep tends to be lighter, shorter and more interrupted.
Workers can also take steps to stop themselves feeling fatigued. If you have found yourself experiencing fatigue, you could cut down on sugar and caffeine and introduce more fruit, vegetables and lean white meat into your diet. A better diet can also help you reduce weight. Obesity is closely linked to fatigue. You may also try to get at least 40 minutes of exercise a minimum of four times a week, especially if you don’t work in a physically demanding role. If your problems persist, consult a medical professional who can check for thyroid problems, heart disease, diabetes, depression and other medical problems.
Why not contact us?
If you have had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault and think it could have been linked to fatigue because your employer failed in their duty of care, we may be able to help. Your employer is not permitted to sack you for taking legal action. Call 0800 689 0500 (landline) or 0333 500 0993 (mobile) to find out more about what to do if you have had an accident at work because of fatigue and believe it was caused by your employer’s negligence.
Date Published: April 20, 2017
Author: Accident Advice