Fatigue is an often-ignored workplace hazard. It can take a toll on Colorado workers in several ways. Employers who fail to take fatigue seriously may end up with injured workers that can affect the company’s bottom line. Fatigued workers typically struggle to plan when faced with complex tasks because their decision-making skills are compromised. Fatigue can have an impact on a worker’s attention span, jeopardizing his or her ability to recognize safety hazards and react quickly.
In addition to a lack of sleep, dim lighting in the workplace can also cause fatigue, as can long shifts on jobs requiring high levels of physical activity. Not enough breaks in shifts that require high levels of mental activity and stress can also bring about fatigue. Sleep disorders, overindulging in alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are other triggers for fatigue during work hours.
Along with being sleepy, fatigued workers can experience giddiness, irritability, headaches, depression, loss of appetite and muscle pain. In some cases, it can even prompt periods of “micro-sleep” in which an employee falls asleep and only realizes it when he or she returns to full consciousness. Operators of mechanical equipment and commercial transportation can put their own lives and the lives of others at risk during these incidents.
Injured workers who were victims of their own or another party’s fatigue may need assistance to cope with high medical bills and lost wages. Such compensation is available through the benefits offered by the Colorado workers’ compensation insurance program. Workers can navigate their own claims or choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle the complicated administrative and legal procedures for them.
Source: safetymanagementgroup.com, “Staying Alert About Fatigue“, Accessed on Feb. 20, 2017