Are your employees working more and rushing to complete tasks in the lead up to Christmas?

Public news

It's normal to feel tired, exhausted or run down after lengths of mental or physical work.

Fatigue is more than just feeling tired or rundown, it is an acute or ongoing state of tiredness that leads to mental or physical exhaustion and prevents people from functioning within normal boundaries.

In the lead up to the Christmas / New Year holiday period, your employees may be working longer hours in an effort to complete their work. Intense mental or physical effort can cause fatigue and this can have hazardous implications for workplace and public safety.

Fatigue can be caused slowly overtime if health isn't kept in order. This can include not getting enough sleep and not eating properly.

Some of the work related causes of fatigue are:

  • roster patterns
  • length of shifts
  • poor work scheduling and planning
  • length of time worked
  • timing of shifts (e.g. night shift)
  • insufficient recovery time between shifts
  • type of work being undertaken (e.g. under-demand/over-demand)
  • mentally or physically demanding work
  • inadequate rest breaks

The effects of fatigue on health and work performance can be short term and long term. Short-term effects on an individual include impaired work performance, such as the reduced ability to:

  • concentrate and avoid distraction
  • think laterally and analytically
  • make decisions
  • remember and recall events and their sequences
  • maintain vigilance
  • control emotions
  • appreciate complex situations
  • recognise risks
  • coordinate hand-eye movements, and
  • communicate effectively

Fatigue can also:

  • increase error rates
  • slow reaction times
  • increase the likelihood of accidents and
  • increase injuries, and cause micro-sleeps

Long-term effects on health that are associated with shift work and chronic sleep loss may include:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • depression, and
  • anxiety

If you require any assistance with your Fatigue Management Policy please contact the MTA’s WR team by clicking here.