In today's commercial world, more and more employees are working on a shift-basis. While this does introduce a level of flexibility into a business' workforce, it also exposes the company to a number of unique health & safety issues. One of the most prominent is the relationship between fatigue and safety.
So how can companies ensure that they manage fatigue in the same way as they would other hazards?
Work site safety can be negatively impacted by fatigue.
Fatigue in the construction industry
As construction work involves a range of high-risk activities, the industry faces a number of key problems that many other sectors do not. To ensure a safe-working environment, and workplace compliance, construction workers need to to be physically and mentally alert.
Due to this, fatigue is a major concern, and both employers and employees have the responsibility to manage fatigue in the workplace. WorkSafe defines fatigue as the physical or mental state of exhaustion that limits an individual's ability to work both safely and effectively.
Shift work within the construction industry, which often involves irregular work hours and schedules that require night work, can restrict workers' ability to recover from their activities. Working at night especially can have a major impact, as it affects the natural sleeping pattern of an individual.
Managing employer responsibility
Under New Zealand law, employers have a duty to take all practicable steps to make sure their workers are safe while at work. As fatigue is considered a hazard, businesses thus have a responsibility to manage it.
One of the best ways to ensure that workers are not fatigued is through the development and implementation of compliant rest schedules. It is imperative to ensure that employees take regular rest breaks throughout their working day. For instance, if an employee works for six to eight hours, you must ensure they receive two paid 10-minute rest breaks as well as one unpaid 30-minute break.
However, this is just the legal minimum requirement. Best practice health and safety at work would ensure that extra rest breaks are implemented for those engaged in demanding work.
With such a strong emphasis on safety and the proper management of fatigue, employers will need to make sure they are able to access up-to-date schedules and other work-related documents in the field. SiteApp's digital platform is an effective way to ensure that hazards are managed properly and your workplace stays compliant.
If you would like to learn more about how SiteApp can help you better manage fatigue and other workplace hazards, talk to a representative today.