SPOT on Safety: Stay Alert. Stay Alive.

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You are the most important safeguard in protecting yourself and others while at work. When you are not able to fully focus and perform your duties correctly, you could be leaving yourself at risk for injury. Being tired on the job is a major problem in the United States for workers. Fatigue leaves workers performing at lower levels and this exposes them to higher chances of an injury or an incident occurring. It is important to prevent fatigue while on the job to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Fatigue in the Workplace Statistics

  • Fatigue carries an overall estimated cost of more than $136 billion per year to employers in health-related lost productivity.
  • 1 in every 5 workers is sleep deprived.
  • Poor sleeping habits lead to stress on the job.
  • In a survey by Caremark Rx Inc. of 29,000 adults, 38% reported feeling tired at work in the last two weeks.

Fatigue Causes

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too many demands at work or home
  • Medication
  • Other health problems such as depression or anxiety

Safe Work Practices to Prevent or Improve Fatigue Issues

  • Get plenty of rest. It is recommended to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night.
    If your work schedule is too demanding or the hours you are working are making you feel fatigued every single day, talk with a supervisor. Sometimes responsibilities or schedules can be altered to improve productivity and safety in the workplace.
  • It is important to understand the side effects of medication before using it at work. Talk with your doctor to make sure he/she understands your work responsibilities to ensure the medication will not interfere with your performance.
  • Take care of your health. Addressing other health issues can greatly improve how you feel both at home and at work.
  • Eat a better diet. Food to humans is as gasoline is to a car– if you put dirty gas in your car it will not run well. The same goes for your body!
  • For short periods of less intense fatigue, use caffeinated beverages to help you wake up. Another option is to get up from where you are working to stretch or take a walk.

*Article originally published by Safety Talk Ideas

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