Combating Worker Fatigue through Fatigue Risk Management Programs
Multiple research studies and workplace observations have confirmed that worker fatigue is a very real and serious hazard. Employee fatigue can be defined as a “physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss or extended wakefulness, circadian phase, or workload (mental and/or physical activity)” that can “impair a worker’s alertness and ability” to perform tasks proficiently (1). Left untreated, worker fatigue can cost a company billions of dollars in revenue through lost productivity.
Fatigue Risk Management
Companies seeking to better identify workplace fatigue—and thus reduce productivity losses—can employ practices to help stakeholders comprehend and recognize the signs of a fatigued worker. Previously, companies have simply attempted to restrict the number of service hours for employees. Over the years, however, companies and owners have determined that the most efficient and streamlined approach of combating fatigue is to develop and utilize Fatigue Risk Management Systems.
Fatigue Risk Management Systems
Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) differ from simple management of fatigue in numerous ways. FRMS are defined as, “a data-driven means of continuously monitoring and managing fatigue-related safety risks, based upon scientific principles and knowledge as well as operational experience that aims to ensure relevant personnel are performing at adequate levels of alertness.” (1)
Additionally, FRMS rely on an environment that openly encourages reporting of worker fatigue and instances of hazards in an operating setting. To create this type of reciprocal communication, supervisors must clearly differentiate between natural, unintentional human errors and conscious violations of rules and procedures.
FusionHealth’s Fatigue Risk Management Programs
For risk intensive industries such as aviation, commercial trucking, rail, and petrochemical that are ready to address workplace fatigue for increased productivity, reduced health-related costs and reduced risk associated with combating fatigue and sleep disorders, FusionHealth provides Sleep4Safety, a comprehensive fatigue management in the workplace and data-driven compliance automation solution. With proprietary cloud-based technology, leading medical expertise and comprehensive data analytics, FusionHealth analyzes, intervenes, and manages the sleep disorders that can impact an employer’s health-related costs up to 30% for employees on treatment and reduce the negative impacts of workplace fatigue.