Why Manage Fatigue when You can Prevent it?

Whose Job is it to Prevent Fatigue?

Whose Job is it to Prevent Fatigue?

July 1st, 2012

Did you know that daytime fatigue may have nothing to do with how much sleep a person has had?

Why do people fall asleep at the wheel of a motor vehicle at three o’clock in the afternoon? Why do people yawn at their desks at 10:30 in the morning and start dozing off at 2:30 in the afternoon? Why do people get restless and grumpy at their plant work stations in the middle of their shift?

Fatigue is a killer; literally.

A couple of months ago I was inspired to take a look at fatigue in work places, particularly road transport and mining. Having worked in Professional Football for some time as a Conditioning Coach and Nutritionist, fatigue is an area I was heavily involved in. Getting players fit was one challenge. Having them fresh and full of beans on game day was another. Accumulated fatigue can knock 10% off a player’s performance. But the interesting thing was that some players felt fatigued even at the end of a light load week.

22 years ago I called a senior officer in the Victoria Police Traffic division to talk with him about my views on driver fatigue. I was amazed how road signs advertising Coca Cola were telling drivers to stop and revive and have a cup of coffee.

He sat and politely listened to what I had to say and then preceded to tell me that Victoria Police had some of Monash University’s best academics working on the problem and they knew what they were talking about.

And, he was right, but they knew what they were talking about within the viewpoint they were holding. You see, they made a mistake and that mistake has carried through into industrial fatigue. Their error was in immediately assuming that a person who was fatigued had not had enough quality sleep. The solution given to drivers was a Power Nap. The solution used in Industry has been a change to rosters and a variety of advice to workers re managing themselves around sleep.

But, there is a much bigger picture here and it has been missed. Ask yourself these questions.

  1. If a person slept 8 hours last night, why are they yawning at 10:30 this morning?
  2. If a person sleeps an average of 7 to 8 hours per night, why are they dozing off at 2:30pm?
  3. Why do weekend drivers begin dozing at the wheel after a day of lying around on the beach?

Fatigue has a great deal more to do with self-management. Basically, when a person begins yawning at 10:30 in the morning, their brain is not getting enough Oxygen. What are the factors here that create this phenomenon?

There are a variety of factors that can result in restricted Oxygen transport to brain tissue. Simple education gives a worker, or driver, the understanding as to what is happening. Effective, easy-to-use strategies show the individual how to prevent fatigue, or eliminate it when it appears.

The Fatigue Professor delivers this education. It is fascinating, highly engaging, effective and lasting.

After a session with The Fatigue Professor, your team will become a group of self managing industrial athletes who know how to keep themselves at the top of their game.

Get in touch today to find out more about how easy it is to organise for our program to be delivered at your worksites.