Why You Should Consider Having a Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP) in Your Workplace

Why You Should Consider Having a Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP) in Your Workplace

09th December 2020

Worker fatigue poses a present danger to almost every workplace. It is no different from showing up to work drunk, which is a very dangerous safety risk. Unfortunately, most health and safety officers and teams don’t have a preventive action plan in place to mitigate the risk. Read on to learn more about the common causes of workplace fatigue and the strategies you can implement to mitigate the risk.


Common causes of workplace fatigue

Workplace fatigue often results from factors such as:

  • The kind of workload where the worker is either sedentary or physically active.
  • The work schedule which includes shift timings and length and situations where the workers work consecutive days on and off.
  • Environmental contributors such as noise levels, comfort, temperature, lighting, and use of the wrong equipment.
  • Personal health issues such as depression, insomnia, and sleep apnea that may interfere with the worker’s quantity and quality of sleep.

Helpful Guidelines for Creating a Fatigue Risk Management Plan

An effort to manage and mitigate fatigue risks can help improve employee alertness, job performance, and productivity, as well as ensuring their health and safety in the workplace. Below is a list of some of the guidelines that you can implement in your workplace to help mitigate worker fatigue hazards.


Have fatigue management procedures and policies

Fatigue can result in serious injuries, especially in industries such as health care, construction, and transportation. You need to have efficient fatigue management procedures and policies based on specific requirements and risks known for your industry. Ensure to provide your workforce with the right pieces of equipment to enhance their safety and concentration towards their duties. Always encourage your workforce to purchase CE marked fabrications to ensure the provision of products designed to meet the relevant health and safety standards.


Include a rest scheme consistent with limitations

Rest is a very important factor to enhance worker concentration and productivity. Your FRMP should address rest; including how long your employees need to rest in between successive shifts and any consecutive shifts that go for more than a whole week in succession. The rest is vital to allow full recovery for the employees. You should also include rest schedules for employees who work on-call shifts, unscheduled operations, reserve assignments, and any tasks performed across multiple time zones.


Implement duty period limitations

Duty period limitations can be set by management regulation or through collective bargaining agreements. Regulation of hours of service may be necessary for industries like the airline and trucking industries. Consider implementing duty period limitations if your industry is subject to collective bargaining or regulatory limits. Otherwise, you can also set shift limitations and structures based on the specific risks and demands of the tasks of your workforce to protect it against excessive fatigue.


Include education and awareness training program

Ignorance can be very dangerous when it comes to workplace safety. It’s your responsibility to ensure your workforce is aware of the effects of fatigue and the basics of circadian rhythms and sleep. Educate them on how to identify when their fatigue level is dangerous and the steps to take in order to stay safe.


Have a fatigue reporting policy

Fatigue-related events usually contribute to a majority of near-miss situations, just like mechanical failures or lack of attention. You should ensure your workforce is aware of the need to report any fatigue symptoms before beginning their work. Encourage them to be comfortable reporting subjective fatigue to allow you to determine whether your FRMP program is effective and whether there are adjustments that need to be made.