Minimizing Fatigue Risk: 3 Proven Strategies

Minimizing Fatigue Risk: 3 Proven Strategies

Even small shifts to our sleep-wake cycle can impact our performance and safety. Is your organization managing this common risk?

Spring Forward & Safety
How did you feel this past Daylight Savings Time (DST) when you “sprung forward” an hour? Maybe a little groggy and off your game? A growing body of research on the impact of DST has shown that even a 1-hour shift in our sleep-wake cycle can significantly impact our performance and safety.

For example:

  • There are nearly 68% more workdays lost to injuries that occur in the day(s) following DST.
  • There’s a significant increase in road accidents and in the number and severity of workplace injuries following DST

Many Employees Shift Sleep-Wake Cycles on a Regular Basis

For many managers, DST is not the only time their workforce shifts their sleep cycle. In fact, for many operations it happens on a regular basis. Workers on rotating shifts, working overtime, and traveling across time zones are all at an increased fatigue risk because of the inevitable shifts in their sleep/awake time.

3 Strategies to Reduce Fatigue Risk Extended Hours Operations

  1. Educate and Train Your Workers on Personal Sleep/Fatigue Management:

Providing your workers with tips and ready-to-use strategies to optimize their sleep and decrease their fatigue risk at work can lead to fewer errors and accidents. Managers and other leaders can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of fatigue and how and when to put effective fatigue countermeasures in place.

  1. Take Stock and Audit Your Fatigue Management Efforts:

A Fatigue Risk Assessment (FRA) clarifies the current state of fatigue management in your organization, allowing you to understand the impact of fatigue on your staff and your bottom line. An FRA can:

  • help to identify one or more groups of employees who are at the highest risk of having a fatigue-related accident;
  • measure the impact of your schedules or rostering interventions on your fatigue risk;
  • provide a standardized method for your managers and supervisors to use to mitigate fatigue risk; and
  • document your organization’s fatigue management initiatives for safety inspectors and government regulators.
  1. Put a Fatigue Management Plan into Place:

A Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP) is the backbone of an organization’s fatigue management efforts. An FRMP not only defines and describes a company’s fatigue-mitigating policies and procedures but more importantly, it provides practical step-by-step guidance on how to assess fatigue risk and how to implement effective strategies to manage and lower current and future fatigue risk.

What are your next steps?

If you are interested in having a conversation about your next steps to reduce the risks associated with workplace fatigue, we welcome the opportunity to answer your questions and discuss the unique challenges in your organization.

CIRCADIAN® has extensive experience providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock. Through a unique combination of consulting expertise, research and technology, software tools, and informative publications, CIRCADIAN helps organizations in the 24-hour economy optimize employee performance and reduce the inherent risks and costs of their extended-hours operations. Call us today – we’d love to chat with you!

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