Everyone has seen the signs that adorn motorway hard shoulders advising motorists to take a break as ‘tiredness can kill.’ They are, of course, absolutely right. A road traffic accident at those speeds can have serious consequences for all involved.
Another area where fatigue can have a severe impact on safety and performance is at work. Feeling tired at work should not simply be accepted as part of the norm and should be avoided as much as possible.
Why does tiredness increase the chances of accidents at work?
Quite simply, people who are fatigued are often not as aware and alert as they otherwise would be. Tired minds can forget small but significant details, make mistakes and poor decisions or simply fail to get tasks done altogether. Being fatigued affects your ability to:
- Think clearly
- Be as productive as you were previously
- Recognise your own level of performance
What are the most common signs of tiredness at work?
People suffering from fatigue will appear to be:
- More irritable than normal
- Less clear when communicating
- Easily distracted
- Slower in terms of reactions and thinking
- Taking shortcuts to get tasks completed
All of the above obviously pose great risks in a working environment. Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of injuries at work.
How can I avoid work accident claims because of tiredness?
There are a number of changes you can make to minimise the chances of suffering fatigue at work, these include:
- Managing your sleep time/home life to ensure you are getting enough rest time.
- Avoiding caffeine for five hours before bedtime.
- Drinking plenty of water and eating light, nutritious meals when at work as heavy meals can make you drowsy.
- Varying and rotating your work tasks to keep you fresh and alert.
- Informing the management if you are feeling tired.
As an employer, your company should be examining the following:
- Length of shifts
- Whether the leisure time is sufficient for rest and recovery.
- Previous hours and days worked.
- The type of work being performed.
- Frequency and length of breaks.
Victims of accidents that derive from fatigue may well be due some work accident compensation. Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm with experience in dealing with work accident claims, as well as road accidents and public liability claims and can help with your case should you decide to push for compensation.
Date Published: September 2, 2013
Author: David Brown