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The Importance of Taking a Breather: 5 Tips to Avoid Getting Injured at Work Due to Fatigue

Injured at Work Due to Fatigue
Injured at Work Due to Fatigue
One drowsy worker or a momentary lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences for a business. Workplace injuries incur vast medical bills, damage worker morale, and productivity, raise insurance premiums, and in some cases incur hiring and retraining costs.

The State of Vermont estimated that for every $1 invested in workplace safety, employers saved between $3-$10 in direct or indirect costs following an accident. Employers should, therefore, take every and all opportunity to reduce workplace injuries, particularly those caused by something as avoidable as worker fatigue. For more information check out an occupational safety blog for more workplace recommendations for reducing injuries.

Encourage Employees to Take Regular Breaks

You want to promote a working culture where employees work productively but feel comfortable taking breaks when they need to. During these breaks, they should remove themselves from the working area and take a short walk. The movement has been proven to help combat fatigue and increase alertness.

Educate Employees and Management

All staff should be made aware of the importance of taking breaks and fending off fatigue. They should receive regular training on the latest safety procedures. This sets the standard that following safety procedures to the letter as often as possible is standard company practice. Specific employees carrying out more technical roles should receive additional training.

Identify Hazards

Identifying the potential hazards in the workplace will help you take steps to prevent accidents and mitigate the risks. Use a workplace hazard checklist, ask employees what the most dangerous aspects of their jobs are, and carry out a comprehensive analysis after any workplace injury to best identify the potential hazards in the workplace.

Don’t Take Shortcuts

Even during busy periods, when employees are rushing to complete tasks by a certain deadline, everyone should be on the same when it comes to taking shortcuts that could put employees at risk. Not deadline or contract is worth endangering employees or running the risk of a workplace injury. This means that employees must still take regular breaks, get enough rest between work shifts, and adhere to all safety standards.

Cultivate a Culture of Communication

One of the best ways of reducing workplace injuries is through instilling a positive working culture where employees feel comfortable to speak up and voice their opinions without being dismissed or targeted.

If there is a safety procedure that is out of date, a working practice that is putting employees at risk, or protective clothing that is not being worn, the management should hear about it. But they cannot simply assume that employees will report these incidents or raise their concerns. They have to instil a culture of communication and put the relevant communication channels in place. This could mean speaking to employees individually periodically and allowing them to raise any issues in the workplace. Alternatively, management may implement a system where employees can anonymously raise their concerns. Whatever the method, there must be a way for employees to convey their thoughts and experiences to the management.

These are five ways to reduce workplace injuries due to fatigue and rushed working practices. Implementing them may take time and cost money, but in the long-term, it helps protect the future financial health of the company.

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