Many accidents can be attributed to fatigue in the workplace, which thousands of workers will experience at any given time each day of their lives. In our country’s history, there have been many major disasters in the workplace attributed with lack of sleep, such as the Three Mile Island accident and the grounding of the Exxon oil tanker in Alaska. Since fatigue is different for every worker, many questions arise to determine how much lack of sleep is too much lack of sleep. Fatigue happens as a result of inefficient sleep and can actually affect the safety of a worker on the job, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
Signs of Fatigue in the Workplace
If you as a worker have slept for less than 5 hours before work, you have a greater chance of making a mistake. In fact, the number of hours you spend awake are very similar to blood alcohol levels. When you spend 17 hours awake, it is equal to a blood alcohol content of 0.05. If you stay awake for 25 hours? .10. Some of the common signs of fatigue include tiredness, falling asleep against your will, irritability, depression, loss of appetite, digestive problems, and so much more.
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Causes of Fatigue
Think about people who work night shift – their bodies are not used to being awake during night hours to work. People are actually programmed on a physiological level to sleep at night and be awake during the day. Night shift workers don’t get as much sleep as those who work during the day. Many jobs are also more prone to fatigue because of the tasks at hand as well as environmental factors that you are expected to accomplish. If the job requires you to meet many physical and mental demands, you may find yourself more tired after a day of work. You may also find that many characteristics in your workplace affect your ability to stay awake and function, such as noisy workplaces as well as those that have poor indoor quality or exposure to bright lights.
It is the duty of your employees to ensure that you are working up to standard as well as keeping yourself and others safe around you. Unfortunately, many workers a year experience sleep deprivation on many levels, so it is important to tell when you are being deprived of necessary sleep. It could save your life.