What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is defined as a reduction in the ability to carry out the required job and can impact upon productive time in terms, not just of absenteeism, but also 'presenteeism' times when employees are at work but performing at less than full capacity.

Fatigue is often due to

  • Inadequate rest
  • Disturbed biological rhythms (circadian cycle)
  • Excessive mental and physical activity

And these can result in

  • Moments of inattention
  • Poor judgement
  • Slow reactions
  • Less attention to detail
  • Poor peripheral vision
  • Increased negative emotional behaviours (irritability, grumpiness etc)

Stress is a major contributory factor that impacts upon an employee's ability to manage fatigue. Additionally, there are a number of personal factors which also contribute:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Diet
  • Good use of break / lunch time off
  • Quality of sleep
  • Environmental factors (light / noise / nature of work)

Providing employees with diet and lifestyle training including how to achieve quality sleep, stay alert, be safe and aid the home/work life balance will also provide potential benefits for employers, including;

  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Better productivity
  • Fewer accidents/incidents
  • Improved staff morale
  • Reduced staff turnover