When it comes to construction, there is nothing easy about the work. Sometimes projects take place in remote locations, sometimes the hours are long and demanding, and sometimes there’s a risk of harm. But as long as everyone is doing their job the right way, looking out for each other, and sticking to the plan, the work gets done.
However, working too hard, for too long, without accepting that humans have limits can be a very bad thing. If it becomes chronic fatigue, and then spreads to other workers, not only can the quality of the work suffer, but it increases the risks of accident and harm.
If you want to keep your productivity high, your workers healthy, and, perhaps most important of all, maintain a safe environment for everyone, fatigue prevention is important. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Modern technology is impressive in that we now have many different tools at our disposal to measure our productivity and help keep us safe. For example, today’s cars now have “alertness monitors” that do things like measure movement and even track the angle of the head, so if we dip down because we’re napping, the monitor goes off to warn us that we should get some sleep instead of trying to continue to drive.
“Wearable tech” can monitor biometric data, recording what is normal for a worker, and comparing that with the current state, to alert managers if fatigue is occurring, taking a lot of the guesswork out of this problem.
Open Company Culture
Another important aspect can be management itself. If the tone of management is, essentially, “work till you die, no excuses,” this has a huge effect on the mood and willingness of workers to come forward when there are problems.
Make it clear to your workers that you are more interested in finding out about problems, and solving them than you are in pretending everything is fine and letting the unreported issues blindside you because you didn’t want to hear about it. Workers that feel better about reporting fatigue—and not being fired for it—will save you more time and money than a major fatigue-induced accident that can cause harm or even cost lives.
Manage The Workload
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is make sure you track how much your workers are working. Most of the time, they will only experience fatigue from being overworked. An employee time clock app can be essential in helping you keep track of just how many hours your workers are putting in.
If your time clock software shows you that particular workers, for example, are clocking in too early and clocking out too late, you should think about taking action. Fatigue results in higher stress, lower awareness, slower reaction time, and is responsible for more accidents than impairment from either drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s also harder to prevent when work needs to be done.
It’s important to manage not just how hard your workers work, but that they get the rest they deserve. Sometimes making sure workers get rest can mean the difference between a productive day and a major accident onsite.