Sleep and Work

We know that sleep is important.  The need for sleep is biologically similar to the need to eat and drink, and it is critical for maintaining life and health and for working safely. 

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Fatigue quick guide

To work safely, workers should be physically and mentally alert. This means that fatigue is a potential risk. Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) and workers have a responsibility to manage fatigue at work.

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Fatigue and worker safety

  • Risk factors for occupational fatigue include long work hours, a heavy workload, lack of sleep, environmental factors and medical conditions.
  • Experts say employers can help combat fatigue by offering breaks, scheduling work when employees are most alert and promoting the importance of sleep.
  • The National Safety Council has launched an initiative about fatigue, gathering data with the aim of identifying solutions and releasing a policy toolkit and other resources.
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What is fatigue?

Fatigue is the state of feeling very tired, weary or sleepy resulting from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical work, or extended periods of stress or anxiety. Boring or repetitive tasks can intensify feelings of fatigue.

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