Falling asleep at work can be very distressing and potentially dangerous. Falling asleep at work can lower work rate production and also put others at risk. If you operate heavy machinery and you are either fatigued or falling asleep at work, then you need to evaluate the situation. In this type of scenario, it could lead to injury or even death. Being tired at work is no joke. Some even suggest that driving or operating machinery whilst fatigued is just as dangerous as drink driving.

When you get tired, your brain attempts to rest. It can lead to lack of attention and slower reactions. If you are tired at work, then you are not only a danger to yourself but other people. It is important that you learn tackle fatigue.

How to stop fatigue

If you feel fatigued at work, you first need to address the reasons why you may be tired. In most cases, fatigue is caused by lack of sleep. The simple answer would to be to go to sleep earlier, however it is not always this simple. If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to seek medical advice. If you are constantly fatigued due to being overworked, then you need to speak to your boss about this issue. By law, you are entitled to rest breaks at work. You have the right to rest for 11 hours between work days.

Other causes of fatigue may be due to health complications such as diabetes. If you are fatigued but do not know why, it is vital that you seek medical advice. Conditions such as Anaemia can cause fatigue.

Always make sure you are eating enough food. One common reason for fatigue is simply not eating enough. Our bodies require a balanced diet to keep us fit and healthy. If you are sleeping on the job, then you should evaluate your diet. Ask yourself, are you getting enough food energy? Sometimes, it is possible that the wrong foods are leaving you tired. For example, if you eat a food with a very high sugar content, your blood sugar could hit a limit and crash, leaving you fatigued and sluggish.

Depression and stress can also lead to you feeling tired at work. If you are either stressed or depressed and are falling asleep at work then we recommend that you speak to your employer and seek medical advice. Stress caused by work can be very damaging for both the workplace and the worker. It is important that you seek stress management advice. In most cases, your employer will want to help you overcome stress, especially if it poses a risk to safety or production.

If you are on medication, check with your doctor that it is not causing fatigue and that it is safe for work.
A common cause of fatigue comes from looking after small children or babies. Maybe work a routine with your partner so that you distribute care evenly.

Managing fatigue in the workplace

According to the HSE, fatigue costs the workplace around £115 – £240 million per year. This huge figure accounts for 20% of all accidents on the road in the UK. As an employer, you need to protect your workers from a risk of fatigue. Ways you can do this is by developing a new shift routine to help minimise fatigue. It is important that you risk assess a situation and report any cases of fatigue. Minimising stress is essential, a happy workplace is a productive one.

The danger of fatigue

Fatigue runs the risk of mistakes, low production, injury and even death. Some of the worse accidents in a workplace have been blamed on fatigue. If you are tired or falling asleep at work, you should be aware of the danger this can cause. If you see someone who appears fatigued or is falling asleep at work, it is your duty to report this for health and safety reasons.
In some cases, people have died due to fatigue. Most commonly these deaths occur when the individual is driving or operating heavy machinery. This may also result in legal action being taken against an employer/employee.
The Chernobyl incident is regarded as one of the worse nuclear disasters of all time. The workers may not have made mistakes if they managed fatigue correctly.

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