Can workers identify signs of injury-risking fatigue?

by on November 29, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

We all think we know when we need a break. But if the work’s not completed, we need to push.

Problem is, injury rates rise when we’re pushing past tired, too. Workers need to know when to stop – and get stuck in a dilemma: Judgment decreases with fatigue, too.

What to look for
That’s why it’s important to remind workers to watch out for signs of excessive fatigue in each other, such as:

  1. Difficulty articulating thoughts (more than usual): If someone gets stuck in the middle of a sentence and can’t get back to it, or they ask for directions that they just asked for, usually they’re either stressed or fatigued.

    Either way, it’s time for a break.

  2. Near-miss. Late in a shift, if they suffer a near-miss, they need to stop (or a co-worker needs to intervene or report it).

    You may want to have a policy requiring workers to report any near-miss late in the last two hours of a shift or in overtime, so you can gauge their fatigue levels in person.

  3. Too many errors. Similar to a near-miss, work quality decreases with fatigue.

    If the work isn’t up to snuff, job safety isn’t, either.

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