Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

The dangers of fatigue

June 12, 2012

FREMONT, OH — A study released earlier this year by the respected American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) revealed that many typical work injuries — including back, foot, neck and knee injuries — can be traced directly to worker fatigue, according to a press release.

The study, entitled "Fatigue Risk Management in the Workplace," found that nearly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce suffers from fatigue (defined as exhaustion, decreased alertness, weariness, lack of energy, muscle weakness and slowed movements), the release stated.

The report suggested that fatigue — specifically decreased alertness — can have several safety-related implications, as well as reducing decision-making abilities, the release noted.

According to the release, to help reduce fatigue and the many problems it can cause, employers can:

• Identify fatigue-related risks and take steps to address them
• Educate workers about the problems associated with fatigue and encourage them to report any fatigue-related issues they might be experiencing
• Thoroughly investigate fatigue-related injuries in order to prevent them in the future
• Install anti-fatigue mats wherever workers must stand for long periods of time.

Click here to read the complete release.