July 3, 2013
5 Questions on How Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) Can Help Your Business
For 24/7 industries, like aviation, energy, transportation, healthcare, mining, manufacturing and others, having a strategy to control, limit, and prevent the effects of fatigue at work is essential.
Statistics show that a fatigue risk management system can significantly decrease the number of fatigue-related accidents, considerably improving workers’ performance. It also reduces costs, ensures safety and increases production and efficiency.
Businesses are becoming more and more aware of the effectiveness and value of a well-designed Fatigue Risk Management System that can make a difference in their operations and workforce safety.
The number of companies adhering to such a system is increasing, as FRMS are accepted worldwide as standard practice in managing the risks of worker fatigue.
Here are a few questions to address to better understand how a Fatigue Management Risk System can help your business and protect your workforce.
1. Do you have enough staff?
One of the major causes of accidents and errors at work is understaffing. By ensuring an appropriate number of employees and by effectively distributing them across schedule, companies and service providers can better manage task load and workflow without overworking their employees and exposing them to fatigue-related risks.
Fatigue Risk Management Systems provide the necessary tools, such as staffing evaluation and workload modeling.
2. Can your employees get enough sleep?
A company may be adequately staffed, but if shift scheduling is poor, fatigue associated risks are difficult to control. Shift design needs to take into account factors such as commuting intervals, overtime, and workers’ occasionally switching shifts.
Fatigue risk management systems implement proven tools that mitigate risks by optimizing schedules, establishing work hours limits, and setting up best practices.
3. How well are your employees handling working at night or shift rotation?
Studies show that rotating shifts can decrease the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that is considered to regulate sleep patterns.
Many workers have problems adjusting to working in shifts, whether their job requires them to work at night or rotate shifts.
This can lead to sleep disorders and chronic fatigue. If we add other personal stress-inducing factors, such as family difficulties, the risks of fatigue-related accidents increases.
To prevent and control this, FRMS tools help companies find ways to successfully screen sleep disorders and involve employees in training programs.
4. What is the impact of your work environment for employees working at night?
Workplace characteristics are decisive in employees’ alertness during night shifts. FRMS also assist companies in assessing workspace impact on fatigue management, providing effective measures to keep employees awake and ensure their safety.
FRMS offer solutions to redesign the workplace with the purpose of reducing fatigue risks in mind.
5. Are your employees trained to recognize the signs of fatigue?
Sometimes it is hard for employees to realize how exhausted they are, as the pressure of getting the job done impairs realistic assessment. By educating their workforce and training workers to identify the signs of fatigue, companies take one of the simplest, yet most efficient preventive measures.
FRMS provides the tools to monitor employee alertness, track their fitness for doing their job and implement policies regulating rest.
Thus, the implementation of a FRMS becomes imperative in protecting your workforce and business.