Did you know that that distracted and fatigued driving is the primary reason for over 20 per cent of crashes involving trucks in Australia? Or that 17 hours without sleep impairs your reaction times in the same way as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent.? Fatigue can be the source of a lot of work health and safety problems. Let's take a closer look.
Risk presented by worker fatigue
Worker fatigue is more than just being a little sleepy. In fact, it's recognised by the Australian government as a serious workplace health and safety risk, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. When workers are over-tired, they suffer from the following side effects:
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Difficulty communicating
- A decreased capacity in judgement
- Decreased problem-solving abilities
- A lack of awareness when performance is reduced
The Sleep Health Foundation notes that the employees who suffer from worker fatigue most frequently are shift workers. Fatigue presents the highest level of risk for employees performing safety-critical work such as driving, or operating heavy machinery.
How has technology addressed the dangers of worker fatigue?
Technology has presented us with a handful of pretty great solutions geared towards some of the most at-risk occupations.
The developments for truck drivers/heavy machine operators are a great example of this innovation. According to the BBC, an Australian company – Seeing Machines – created a device named Driver Safety Solution (DSS).
This product detects the following indicators of fatigue:
- Frequency of a driver's blinks,
- Length of time eyes are closed
- Pupil size
These details are used to monitor the onset of microsleep. When these bouts of sleepiness are detected, the software activates an audio alarm and triggers a vibration in a motor installed in the driver's seat.
Compliance platforms like Smartek can help alert managers of worker fatigue so that the problem can be properly addressed.
Compliance platforms like Smartek can also alert managers of worker fatigue so that the problem can be properly addressed while also educating employees.
Our system has easy-to-configure alerts that can be sent via email or SMS to warn about potential risks with fatigue, thereby reducing the danger of serious or minor safety incidents. Additionally, you can configure a site to send an alert if an employee has not scanned out of that site within a particular time period after scanning in. The warnings can even be repeated if necessary.
To learn more about how Smartek can help you manage worker fatigue and a whole range of other business needs, reach out to one of our team members today!