Worker Fatigue Could Cause Problems In The Work Place

Some days it can be hard to get out of bed and go to work.

And- if you aren't getting enough sleep-- it could lead to sleep deprivation which can affect you in the workplace.

I learned that if you are sleep deprived at work-- it's known as worker fatigue.

I spoke with a couple of employees today at the zoo about this condition.

They told me that it is possible to see this in employees.

Here's how they can tell and what steps they take to keep their workers safe.

"Impairs their abilities to make good judgments, to work efficiently, to work effectively," said Skyler Dutton, Safety Consultant.

These are only a few of the conditions that can be a result of work fatigue.

"I've seen it happen," said Renee Escherick, Roosevelt Park Zoo Public Programs Manager.

According to the North Dakota Safety Council, more than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived. The cause of this could be someone who works the night shift or can even be someone who experiences schedule changes and over time.
"In the winter time there's shorter staff so there's a lot more to get done," said Ryan Pederson, Zoo Keeper.

"We try to keep an eye on all of our staff," said Escherick.

The NDSC also says that little sleep can be the equivalent to being intoxicated.

"You can definitely notice if like someone's moving a little bit slower, having trouble lifting stuff up," said Pederson.

If you notice you're dealing with worker fatigue, there are things you can do to get a boost of energy.

"A 15-20 minute power nap is more effective than any energy drink, coffee," said Dutton.

"Staying hydrated and having snacks around too," said Pederson.

"A 10 minute walk is again far more effective than caffeine or other tricks," said Dutton.

But if you're facing too much fatigue, talking to your employer could be your best option.

"We would make the determination whether we just needed a break or we needed to find someone to cover that shift," said Escherick.

"I always think you should get the right amount of sleep you need before you should work at any job," said Pederson.

The NDSC's tips for worker fatigue is to optimize schedules, allow napping when necessary, and to create a culture that
promotes sleep health.

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