No matter what your job is, there’s some risk of having an accident or injury. Every day, workers get hurt on the job, even if they think they’re doing things safely. Knowing the safety guidelines at your place of work can go a long way towards keeping you and your coworkers from being injured, but it’s not always enough.
One of the biggest risk factors for workplace accidents is fatigue. Nearly every kind of injury is more likely to happen when employees are tired, overworked, or sleep-deprived.
How fatigue affects job performance and safety
Fatigue is a state of extreme tiredness, exhaustion, or sleepiness, often resulting from overexertion or working long hours. People can experience fatigue if they work too many days in a row, neglect proper nutrition and exercise, or work and especially strenuous job.
But fatigue can also set in suddenly. Common causes of sudden fatigue are sleep deprivation, heat exhaustion, or an illness. Heat exhaustion is especially dangerous because it can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal.
No matter the cause of your fatigue, you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms, especially when you’re on the job. Feeling unusually tired or wanting to sleep is a warning sign that your ability to work safely is impaired, but these aren’t the only symptoms of fatigue. Other symptoms include problems with short-term memory, inability to concentrate, and delayed reaction time.
Fatigue is linked to job performance in a number of ways. Fatigued workers are less able to perform complex tasks, which can lead to improper use of equipment. They may also be slower to recognize danger or realize that they’re working unsafely. In extreme cases, a worker might even fall asleep or pass out from exhaustion, injuring themselves or others in the process.
How you can combat fatigue in the workplace
You won’t always come to work bursting with energy. But fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid the harmful effects of fatigue in the workplace.
One of the most important steps is getting enough sleep. If you aren’t getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night, you’ll probably experience at least some decline in job performance. If you’re getting significantly less sleep, you’re putting yourself at risk for workplace injuries, as well as other health problems. While many people think of sleep as optional, it’s anything but.
Other ways that you can reduce fatigue is by staying in shape. Proper nutrition and regular exercise can increase energy levels and prevent health problems that cause fatigue. Avoiding alcohol, or at least drinking in moderation, is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Even if you follow all the rules, accidents can still happen. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. We are just a phone call, email, or text message away!