Tired workers make more mistakes

How often do you – and your coworkers – describe how tired you feel?

Photo credit: Natalie Schmid on Flickr

“Tired” Photo credit: Natalie Schmid on Flickr

It’s an ever-present topic in real life and on social media: “I’m soooooo tired.”

People complain about it all the time – which can get tiresome in itself – plus it’s bad news for the workplace.

“Studies indicate that the risk of making mistakes at work increases significantly if workers sleep for less than the average (7.5–8.5 hours) or are awake for more than 17 consecutive hours,” reads The dangers of fatigue in the workplace, a new bulletin from WorkSafeBC.

We need to take sleep more seriously. Its replenishing power improves our:

* Ability to make decisions
* Ability to do complex planning
* Communication skills
* Productivity and performance
* Attention
* Ability to handle stress
* Reaction time
* Ability to recall details
* Ability to respond to changes in surroundings or information provided

The above list of awesome enhancements is from the new hazard alert. It describes what we mess up by not sleeping enough.

Fatigue toolkit on the way for BC employers

The effects of sleep deprivation are on the radar in many industries, and WorkSafeBC is working on a fatigue toolkit for employers to be released by June 2015. It’s a topic I’ve looked at before, in my posts Impaired by lack of sleep? and Find solutions for sleep problems.

Chances are, you may be tired right now – as you’re reading this. So I’ll just cut short on this one and give you a break. Will let you know when the new tool kit is released.

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1 thought on “Tired workers make more mistakes

  1. north_of_54

    Well, this was an interesting read. Of late, a railway was facing shutdown by striking teamsters. One issue was that the railway wanted engineers and others to increase their work hours from 10 to 12 hours per shift. Where does safety come in here when tired workers are not only a threat to themselves but to communities through which they pass?

    Forestry workers are also a threat to themselves and others who travel on roads – both on highway and resource roads. Mills seem to set the rules by lobbying for exemptions to provincial and federal standards. At 2am I hear the logging trucks heading out – they often work a 12 hour day. It is very unsafe yet forestry companies successfully lobbied to exclude resource roads as a work place!

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