With Spring around the corner, it is important to remember the hazards of working in warmer weather. Warmer weather means added potential of fatigue while out in the field. Fatigue is a state of mental and physical exhaustion, which can cause the involuntary shutdown of both one’s mind and body. Fatigue can lead to serious accidents occurring on the job site, therefore it is important that coworkers and management pay close attention to one another for signs of fatigue. Some typical signs of fatigue are:
- slowed performance
- loss of focus
- consistent yawning
- consistent errors
It is vital that, while on the job site, each member of your team is looking out for one another. Often, those who are experiencing mental or physical exhaustion are not aware of just how exhausted they are. Fatigue puts your team at risk!
There numerous ways to combat fatigue. While some of them rely on the individual themselves, they are occasions where a medical condition could be playing a role in fatigue as well. The follow are some way to combat fatigue:
- Come to work well rested (8 hours of sleep).
- Allow for / take breaks during work.
- If attempting to sleep during the day, make sure to find a secluded location in the shade.
- Eat well-balanced meals, starting the move with high protein and the ending the evening with high carbohydrates.
- Take a walk, stretch, or exercise can each be used to help keep a person awake and attentive.
- If sleep disturbances are still occurring, considering seeing your doctor regarding the subject.
At any jobsite, it is important to maintain a proper sleep schedule to avoid making mistakes. However, in construction fatigue can cause fatal errors to occur. Fatigue related accidents are entirely avoidable, as long as the individual and the team are mindful of themselves and others. Do not be afraid to ask someone if they are feeling tired, if they would like a break, or how they slept. These simple questions could potentially avoid a serious mistake from occurring, saving time, money, and lives.
Stay rested, stay safe,
Terry L. Foy
Foy Safety Consulting, Inc.