A question is asked, what is fatigue?
Fatigue is the term used to describe the feeling of weariness from bodily or mental exertion. Fatigue can also be defined as feeling tired, drained or exhausted. Fatigue influences an individual’s physical, mental and emotional state. When feeling fatigued, we lose alertness, which is accompanied by poor judgment, slower reactions to events and decreased motor skills. Fatigue can result from long periods of time awake, strenuous work as well as poor sleep patterns. The time of day that the work is performed can also have an influencing effect.
DO YOU KNOW YOU are more at risk of being involved in, or causing an accident when driving or working while fatigued?
The correlation between accidents and worker fatigue has been studied and the results have equated 17 hours of wakefulness to 0.05 blood alcohol level and after 24 hours a blood alcohol level of 0.10 (legally impairment in Alberta is 0.08). Findings also showed that compared to alcohol intoxication, the effects of sleep deprivation on the ability to maintain alertness are significantly greater.
Based on this type of information and practical experience, it is company policy to limit the hours of overtime work and to maintain awareness of personal factors that could affect the degree of worker fatigue.
Personnel must present themselves at work in a condition in which they are able to carry out their duties without risk to themselves or others. This includes ensuring that they are not in an unfit state for any reason including the adverse effects of fatigue and stress. Personnel are expected to pay particular attention to obtaining adequate sleep prior to the start of their shift.
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