When workers are fatigued, production understandably goes down and more errors are prone to occur. Even more concerning is the number of accidents and injuries that can happen when workers are fatigued. This not only puts their safety in danger, but the safety of those working around them as well.
Employers reportedly lose an estimated $136 billion due to fatigue-related productivity and health issues every year. When workers are frequently fatigued, they can increase workers’ compensation costs for employers four times the normal amount due to excessive injuries and accidents. While these numbers are shocking, they should motivate employers to make some changes in workplace conditions so that workers can avoid becoming fatigued unnecessarily. This helps workers and greatly benefits the employers who are seeking to maximum their profit while reducing the risk of accident and serious workplace injuries.
Implementing Smart Provisions to Minimize Fatigue
Improving worker productivity and reducing liability of fatigue and associated costs can seem like an uphill battle, but employers do have a responsibility to protect their workers in these situations.
What are some practical steps employers can take? Implement a shift scheduling system that will:
- Help realize their business goals
- Enforce realistic operational constraints
- Take employee considerations into account
- Meet physiological and sociological criteria
Other ways they can improve shift scheduling is by determining how many consecutive days workers are on the job, assessing the duration of those shifts, and testing out fixed and rotating shifts to see what works best for all parties involved. If the speed of rotation or start and end time of shifts makes workers prone to fatigue, employers should look to adjust and implement new scheduling when possible.
Workplace fatigue should not be treated as a minor concern, but an issue that can cost employers millions of dollars every year and puts workers’ health at risk. Without change, injuries and losses will continue to occur.