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Workplace Safety & Health Guidelines Fatigue Management

Year: 2010
Language: english
Author: Workplace Safety and Health Council
Genre: Guide
Format: PDF
Quality: eBook
Pages count: 21
Description: Fatigue is a state of tiredness leading to reduced mental and/or physical performance that can
endanger workplace safety. The onset of fatigue while at work can decrease a person’s alertness
and compromise his or her motor skills, reflex ability, judgement and decision-making. All these
have obvious implications for workplace safety and health.
Inordinately long working hours and poorly planned shift work can result in employee fatigue.
Specifically, inappropriate and/or ineffective management of work schedules can lead to quick
onset of fatigue. Fatigue amongst employees can lead to workplace accidents and near-miss
incidents arising from reduced alertness and concentration. Thus, factors contributing to the
onset of fatigue must be addressed. Elements contributing to fatigue comprise:
• Organisational factors, e.g. the lack of a fatigue management policy to manage factors
contributing to fatigue such as:
- Unexpected increase in workload;
- Lack of equipment;
- Lack of manpower; and
- Nature of work.
• Environmental factors, e.g. lighting and temperature.
• Individual factors, e.g. state of individual health and life style as well as social factors.
Although it is difficult to totally eliminate long working hours and night shift work, having a
fatigue management policy and plan can help to eliminate or control adverse impact on
workplace safety and health performance.
Currently, there are no national standards on fatigue management. This general guideline on
fatigue management is developed to provide guidance to assist industries in managing fatigue
from the safety and health perspective. It includes recommended measures to avoid long work
hours and manage shift work effectively to prevent the onset of fatigue in the workplace.
This guideline serves to:
a) Raise awareness of workplace safety and health hazards and risks associated with fatigue;
b) Provide guidance on the recommended measures and practices to manage fatigue in the
workplace; and
c) Establish guidelines for maintaining optimal work performance through a healthy



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