More than a feeling of sleepiness or momentary exhaustion, fatigue is a persistent syndrome that results from the accumulation of many disparate factors. In the workplace, fatigue is an ever-looming issue, one that can limit worker productivity and, in many cases, lead to injury on the job. The causes of fatigue are myriad, some based in the job itself and some related to conditions outside the workplace – social and emotional factors are powerful obligations for humans, and when paired with an aggressive work schedule, unusual shift hours, repetitive labor, and extended mental and physical exertion, the results can be staggering.
For employers, this implies a host of costs both financial and organizational, with fatigue drawing billions of dollars from company budgets worldwide in direct costs and ancillary losses in productivity, morale, and overall operational flow. However, by utilizing a deep understanding of the topic and analysis of the workforce, organizations can help their employees achieve adequate rest, avoid fatigue-inducing work practices, and maintain healthy energy levels. With a holistic perspective, fatigue management can effectively reduce rates of injury and the surrounding costs for a healthier overall outlook.