The term ""fatigue"" is not used in the occupational health and safety field in a single definition.
Fatigue is sometimes understood as a state of extreme tiredness, weariness, or sleepiness brought on by a variety of factors, including inadequate sleep, lengthy mental or physical work, or protracted periods of stress or anxiety. Tasks that are tedious or repetitious can make you feel more worn out. There are two types of fatigue: acute and chronic. On the other hand, exhaustion might refer to subjective, mental, or physical conditions. For instance, these states consist of the following, as listed in the CSA Group's research on workplace fatigue: Mental condition decreased mental ability Indecisive and inattentive Physical condition: Physical deterioration or physiological weakening being physically spent Weak Subjective feeling: drained Drowsy Weary Sleepy Lethargic
Is being tired at work a problem?
Everyone should be concerned about the effects of fatigue because it is a workplace danger and can be categorized as a form of impairment. However, because fatigue levels are difficult to gauge and quantify, it is challenging to pinpoint how fatigue affects incident and injury rates. Shift rotation patterns, balanced workloads, the scheduling of tasks and activities, the availability of resources, and the office environment are workplace elements that may affect weariness (e.g., lighting, ventilation, temperature, etc.). Be sure to take into account causes other than sleep deprivation, such as mental weariness, mental workloads, stressful mental activities, prolonged worry, prolonged monotonous tasking, etc. The quantity of sleep needed is the subject of many studies. According to several studies, fatigued employees are much more likely to make mistakes at work when they slept less than 5 hours the night before or when they were awake for more than 16 hours. According to research, the amount of awake hours can be related to blood alcohol levels. The following is reported by one study: A 0.05 blood alcohol level is the equivalent to 17 hours of awake time. A 0.08 blood alcohol level is the equivalent of 21 hours of awake time (legal limit in Canada) An BAC of 0.10 is equal to being awake for 24–25 hours. Work performance is said to be impacted by fatigue. Most instances, according to the Government of Alberta, Labour*, take place between midnight and 6 am and between 1 and 3 pm, when people are most likely to desire to sleep. According to the Government of Alberta, Labour, while fatigue has different effects on different people, it can increase a worker's exposure to hazards by lowering motivation, decreasing mental and physical functioning, impairing judgment and concentration, slowing reaction time, and encouraging risk-taking behavior. Workplace Safety, Fatigue, and Extended Work Hours, February 2017. Alberta's government and labor
What symptoms of weariness are there?
Weariness, tiredness, sleepiness, including unintentional ""micro"" sleeps, irritability, diminished alertness, concentration, and memory, decreased ability to be productive, lack of motivation, depression, boredom, giddiness, headaches, loss of appetite, digestive problems, and an increased risk of illness are just a few of the signs and symptoms of fatigue.
What are the consequences of weariness and how do they relate to the workplace?
Mental and physical performance can be affected by fatigue. According to studies, these effects include: decreased cognitive processing or decision making, decreased ability to perform complex planning, decreased communication skills, decreased productivity or performance, decreased alertness, attention and vigilance, decreased ability to handle job stress, decreased reaction time, both in speed or thought, as well as the ability to react, loss of memory or the ability to concentrate.
What are some of the elements that affect fatigue?
Long work hours, intense physical or mental exertion, inadequate rest between shifts, job changes or shift rotations, having many jobs, or a combination of these variables can all be considered work-related issues.
Duties that must be sustained for extended periods of time, long, repetitive, paced, tough, dull, and monotonous work tasks, low illumination, limited visual acuity (e.g., owing to weather), high temperatures, high noise, and high comfort all contribute to fatigue. Fatigue can occasionally be a symptom of a sleep disorder, such as those that can impact the quantity or quality of sleep, prolong awake, or interfere with our circadian rhythms. For further information, speak with your doctor or other health care provider. Included in these conditions is sleeplessness. nap apnea Irritable bowel syndrome narcolepsy Sleep duration and quality can also be impacted by diseases, medical conditions, and pharmaceuticals (including over-the-counter drugs). Alcohol, coffee, and nicotine, for instance, can all have an impact on how well you sleep. The body can retain caffeine for between three and seven hours. While it may speed up the process of falling asleep, alcohol disturbs sleep later in the night. Nicotine can also shorten the amount of time spent sleeping.
How may fatigue be handled at work?
A separate fatigue management program or the safety management system at work might be used to combat fatigue. The development of a program that takes into account both work-related and personal elements may include: To assess the risks related to fatigue-related factors, determine the hazards. establish and put into practice the organization's response to someone who is fatigued a list of actions to perform in order to report exhaustion in oneself or others design the work area to have appropriate lighting, temperature, and noise levels. develop administrative practices such as maximum hours of service, appropriate shift rotation, extended workdays, reducing or eliminating the need to do high risk activities between certain hours (e.g., between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.), etc. assess physical and mental job demands. provide appropriate work, where possible. For example, try to offer a variety of tasks that vary in interest and movement throughout the shift. provide lodging or areas to rest or sleep, where appropriate and necessary educate and train about fatigue, including recognizing signs and symptoms of fatigue, how to gauge alertness, or steps to help achieve better sleep provide medical screening for health issues that may affect sleep provide mental health services, including employee assistance programs (EAP), as needed include fatigue as a possible factor and related causes of fatigue when investigating incidents For more information, please see the following OSH Answers documents: Extended Workday: Health & Safety Issues Rotational Shiftwork Employee Assistance Programs
How much sleep do people need?
It varies, but on average studies say we need at least 7 to 9 hours every day. Studies have reported that most night shift workers get about 5 to 7 hours less sleep per week than the day shift. (You can accumulate a sleep """"debt"""", but not a surplus.) Humans follow an """"internal"""" or """"biological clock"""" cycle of sleep, wakefulness, and alertness. Although these circadian rhythms are influenced by external clues such as the sun setting and rising, it is the brain that sets your pattern. Most cycles are 23-25 hours long and there are natural dips or periods when you feel tired or less alert - even for those who are well-rested.
How can I get a """"better"""" sleep?
If you suspect you may have a medical condition that interferes with your sleep, go to your doctor and have any concerns investigated.
There is no one way to get a good sleep - what works for one person may not work for another. In general, suggestions include: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Exercise regularly. Eat at regular intervals and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein. Use your bed primarily just for sleeping (e.g., do not watch television, use your electronic devices, read, or do work in bed). If you are not sleepy, do not try to go to bed. Get up and read or do something quiet instead. Avoid caffeine, tobacco or alcohol - especially before bed time. Turn off the phone ringer and answering device speaker or phone notification. Ask family members to be respectful if one person is sleeping. Family members can use headphones for the TV and radio if necessary. Make the room as dark and quiet as possible. Use heavy, dark curtains, blinds, or a sleeping eye mask. Soundproof the room where possible or use ear plugs. Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Consider using an air conditioner or fan in the summer months.
What are some tips for """"good"""" eating habits that help encourage sleep?
The Dietitians of Canada have made the following recommendations:
Establish Regular Eating Times
Our bodies need energy provided by food to be able to perform our daily activities. Having meals at regular times is important to function at our best. If you tend to skip meals or eat at irregular times, you may experience fatigue, food cravings or increased eating at the next meal. Aim to have at least three meals a day including a variety of foods as described in Canada's Food Guide. If working night shifts, try to have your “main meal” before going to work. A heavy meal during the night may cause heartburn, gas or constipation, as well as make you feel sleepy or sluggish. Snack Ideas for Your Work Break(s) Having snacks in between meals is a great way to keep us nourished and give us the energy we need to complete our work shifts. At breaks, opt for healthy snacks that include combinations from a variety of foods from the four food groups. Here are some ideas: crackers or fruit and cheese social tea cookies and milk yogurt and a small low fat muffin celery sticks with peanut butter baby carrots with low fat cream cheese dip cut up fresh fruit or have nuts mixed with plain yogurt Check your Caffeine IntakeExcessive intake of caffeine can cause insomnia, headaches, irritability and nervousness. It is recommended that foods containing caffeine should not be consumed up to 8 hours before sleeping. Common caffeine sources include: coffee tea iced tea cola drinks chocolate headache relievers Alternatives: decaffeinated coffee or tea non-cola beverages water Snacks for sleeping well Going to bed with an empty stomach or immediately after a heavy meal can interfere with sleep. If you get home hungry, have a snack that is low in fat and easy to digest. A light snack before going to bed helps in getting a good restful sleep. Examples include: cereal with milk fresh fruit and yogurt oatmeal with raisins digestive cookies and milk piece of toast with a small banana multigrain bagel, toasted and lightly buttered From: The Dietitians of Canada, 2017"""