It might seem beneficial financially for you to work long hours, shift work or multiple jobs but working while tired can lead to fatigue-related accidents. Fatigue is a hazard that can have a major impact on more than just your health, especially if you work in the industrial or construction industries. It can also lead to unsafe conditions that compromise the overall working environment for others.
Workers who suffer fatigue-related accidents on the job may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Knowing the signs of sleep deprivation in the workplace can help you to avoid accidents and injuries.
The effects of fatigue in the workplace are not always obvious because they are similar to the signs of stress. Besides reduced vigilance, lower awareness, slower reaction times and poor judgment, tired workers often exhibit poor work performance, reduced productivity, memory loss and increase in errors. Dealing with high levels of long-term stress can compromise your overall health, further increasing your risk of occupational injury or illness. It can also damage employee morale and cause other employees to become less vigilante in reporting and preventing workplace accidents.
While it is not always possible to get enough sleep, you can lower your exposure to workplace fatigue by adjusting your work schedule, take more breaks, improve your diet and lifestyle and learn ways to mitigate stress. You should also review your employer’s OHSA-approved fatigue risk management resources. Your employer has an obligation to minimize hazards in the work area that could cause you harm. This includes providing you with sufficient breaks and not overscheduling staff.
Workplace injuries are preventable. Stay abreast of your workplace’s safety policies and take personal measures to protect yourself.