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5 points for you to consider in this year’s Health, Safety, and Wellbeing strategy

Fatigue management has become an increasingly important topic in the construction industry in recent years. Highlighted by the ORR prosecution in 2020 where two workers lost their lives on their commute home after working overtime.

Using the 9-stage model from ORR is considered good practice for any fatigue management plan that involves safety-critical work, but this predominantly looks at the prevention of accidents.  Are we doing enough to consider the health and wellbeing effects?

This video from Matt Walker, the author of “why we sleep” highlights the many health effects associated with sleep disturbances (particularly the link with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease).  In the last year, we’ve been talking about “COVID fatigue” and “Zoom fatigue”. We talk regularly about getting greater parity between health and safety, is it the same for fatigue management?

These are our 5 points for you to consider in your 2024 fatigue management review:

  1. Do you have documented fatigue management procedures and do they look at more than complying with the Working Time Regulations (WTR) and the prevention of accidents?
  2. Have you considered psychological fatigue? Particularly activities that overload or underload cognitive demands.
  3. Does your culture encourage workers to speak up if they are fatigued? Or to challenge decisions (particularly cost/programme) that might cause fatigue? Research undertaken by Loughborough University research highlighted the need for culture change in the tunneling industry to really improve fatigue.
  4. Do you have processes that ensure workers receive the right support if they do say they are fatigued? This can be accessing support via Occupational Health or ensuring supervisors/managers have the knowledge and skills to support their team.
  5. Are you undertaking any regular monitoring to determine if fatigue is an issue? This can include data on actual working hours/schedules, feedback from the workforce, and accident investigation processes to name a few.

To help you with this further, we are hosting a free webinar with Mike Harnett, President of Solaris Fatigue Management on the 23rd February 2024 at 8:30am. Click HERE or use the button below to register.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash

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