All employees have lives outside of their workplaces that can result in them not getting enough sleep. Children or other family obligations, evening activities, or insomnia can result in an employee not being fully rested at work. A 2018 survey by the National Safety Council found that 69% of workers reported being fatigued at work. For office professionals, fatigue can increase the risk of making mistakes. For employees with more physical jobs, like truck drivers, construction workers, and manufacturing employees, being fatigued can lead to more accidents and injuries. And night shift workers are even more at risk; the risk of injury on a night shift is 30% higher than during the day shift. Below are some tips employers can share with their employees to help them to be less fatigued on the job.
Staying alert on the job
- If possible, take a nap before starting your work shift. A short nap can help make up for any sleep loss the night before.
- Practice good sleep habits such as turning off screens one to two hours before going to bed, avoiding caffeine, and keeping your bedroom dark and quiet.
- Take breaks throughout the day. These breaks should include some physical activity, like a walk, if your job is sedentary.
- Drink water and have some healthy snacks or meals during your work shift. Eating fried or fast food can make fatigue worse.
- Drink some caffeine as long as it’s far enough away from bedtime.
- Listen to music or podcasts if that’s safe in your workplace.
- If you’re driving and feeling very fatigued, pull over in a safe location and take a break. Driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Excessive fatigue in the workplace increases the risk for costly mistakes, accidents, and injuries. Providing information on workplace fatigue to employees along with tips for staying rested can help keep workers safe.