The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Fatigue Management

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In combination, "rushing" and "fatigue" are two of the most dangerous triggering factors we've come across which leads to many incidents occurring.

Allowing workers sufficient time to complete any job being performed is one significant way that the likelihood of human error can be significantly reduced.

And ensuring that workers are getting enough rest between periods of activity is equally important.

The following strategies may assist in minimizing the effects of fatigue and time pressure:

   Include hazard spotting, JSA or risk assessment time-requirements in man-hour estimates for tasks and activities.

   Schedule jobs taking account of the impact of circadian rhythm within a shift, and fatigue over the course of a longer work cycle.

   Provide education and training for personnel in recognizing the signs of fatigue, in themselves and in others.

   Develop procedures for managing personnel experiencing fatigue. 

   Self reporting approach is unlikely to work if fatigue management strategies are ineffective, or if they are likely to increase the workload of team members.

   Implement an evidence-based best practice approach to your night-shift roster.

   Plan for workforce involvement activities and ensure that robust involvement is not impeded by production requirements.

  In the case of turnover, re-assess activity plans to account for a diminished workforce. 

   Allowances should be made for reduced productivity during periods when replacement workers becomes familiar with the role as well as the facility and its people, systems and culture.

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