Do you treat workplace fatigue as a hazard?
Although this has been an issue since formal workplaces have existed, the current labour shortages and compliance environment are shining new light on a long-standing issue- fatigue in the workplace.
Workplace fatigue increases the likelihood of workplace incidents and injuries. Some of the key areas that are impacted include reduced reaction time, poor judgement, and lack of vigilance. These can have major productivity impacts as well as health and safety risks.
Just like any other risk, fatigue in the workplace should be managed and assessed. This includes ensuring that you have done a hazard assessment and have appropriate controls, policies, and procedures in place to mitigate the risks of workplace fatigue.
Here is a quick checklist of things to review in order to mitigate the risk of workplace fatigue in your dealership:
- Treat the hazard like any other by completing a full hazard identification, hazard assessment and document accordingly.
- Review and adjust work scheduling controls for all staff. When managing hours account for coverage for people calling in sick, travel time (when applicable) as well as any upcoming anomalies such as split shifts, early mornings for inventory. Also make sure that you leave enough off hours for staff to be well rested.
- Make sure that your supervisors and managers are aware of the effects and signs of fatigue and can monitor and assess accordingly. Enforce the reporting of near misses, respond, and track closely when they may be a result of fatigue. Including these elements in your SWPs also draws attention to the responsibilities of staff to account for fatigue and work safely.
- Analyze workspaces for fatigue inducing environments such as those with poor ventilation, low lighting, and extreme temperatures.
- Provide a structured process for self-reporting when staff are too fatigued to continue to work safely. Ensure where workplace fatigue does occur as a near miss or incident that it is investigated appropriately. This includes knowing why the controls failed and adjusting the process to reduce the risk of future fatigue related hazards.
Workplace Fatigue is a real hazard and a legitimate risk that the employer is responsible for managing. Ensuring that your staff are aware of their obligations and providing them with knowledge and support to attend to work alert, fit for duty and focused can significantly reduce the likelihood of injury or error.
As with all safety management programs, your fatigue risk system should be reviewed and updated with improvements over time.
If you would like to know more about how we assist dealerships in managing all aspects of Health and Safety, including risk assessments and safe work procedures, then we would love to hear from you! #letstalk email@example.com.