Fatigue is a major problem in today’s society. From shift-work and non-traditional working hours to the challenge of balancing work/life demands, it is getting harder to obtain sufficient sleep to meet our needs. Often, we are happy to sacrifice sleep to meet other goals – social interactions, watching our favourite sporting team or supporting family events. But this comes at a cost and the resulting sleep debt will require more sleep to restore performance.
For anyone working in a safety critical role, this balance and any resulting lack of sleep can have far-reaching consequences. Fatigue can adversely affect reaction times, judgement, decision making and mood. It can be harder to communicate, interact and assess information and events. Crucially, research has shown that we are generally poor at evaluating our own level of impairment, often believing that we are less affected than we are.
As such, the need for good fatigue management is critical. A cornerstone of fatigue management is education and engagement of the workforce. This allows all employees the opportunity to be informed of what kind of risk fatigue presents and how they can help to improve their sleep and fatigue levels.
But of course that is only part of the picture, and robust fatigue management will also examine the organisations’ rostering principles, actual performance against the roster, sleep opportunity for employees and give guidance on how to mitigate and manage fatigue risk.
If your organisation could benefit from fatigue management, or education in fatigue more generally, please contact:
UK - Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org