On average, more than 40% of employees are sleep-deprived. Many employees are working longer hours to meet the demands of the COVID-19 crisis. Managing employee fatigue is more important than ever to ensure safety behind the wheel and in the workplace.
While some government regulations have been loosened to keep supply chains open, exceeding hours of service raises safety concerns.
Research indicates shift workers, especially those working night shifts or rotating shifts, are most at risk for fatigue and sleepiness. Sleepiness is a physiological desire to sleep. Fatigue is characterized as a physical, mental or social impairment that includes tiredness, sleepiness, reduced levels of energy and increased feelings of stress associated with performing tasks to a desired standard.
A number of factors can produce fatigue, including time behind the wheel or a monotonous drive, and common maladies, such as sleep apnea, iron deficiency and diabetes. Fatigued drivers are dangerous drivers. In 2018, drivers who were fatigued or asleep at the wheel contributed to 9,496 crashes in Texas – or about 26 every day, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
In a new Live with Lisa video we are rolling out this month, I share some thoughts on impairment that results from fatigue. I encourage you to share a few thoughts in communications with your team, too:
- Fatigue doesn’t care what the circumstances are
- The effects of fatigue can be far-reaching and can have an adverse impact on all aspects of your life
- Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to reach peak performance levels
Watch/Share: All A’s: Awake, Alert, Alive.
In addition download and share these free resources from the National Safety Council to wake everybody up at your location about work costs and safety risks associated with fatigue:
Plant the seed of safety now. When life returns to normal, then you can take a moment to sit in the shade.
Flatten the Curve on Speed-Related Crashes
People’s minds are racing. Their vehicles are racing, too. Speeding and reckless driving behaviors have been reported in Texas and all across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. The message to share with your employees: Even though our lives have changed, the rules of the road have not. Safety is non-negotiable. There are no do-overs.
While fewer vehicles are on the road as a result of stay-at-home orders, many states have reported alarming speed increases and some have noted a significant surge in vehicles clocked at 100 mph or more, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Driving too fast makes it harder to react to dangerous situations, reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, and increases the force of impact in a crash. Let’s work to flatten the curve on traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Start by connecting with your employees in a virtual setting. During your next Skype or Zoom meeting, share our e-learning module on aggressive driving. Talk about what aggressive driving looks like, and identify two driving behaviors that can lead to catastrophes on the road, speeding and road rage.
Use our free Safety Huddle to guide a conversation on safe driving: The Speed Limit is Not a Suggestion.
Share these two free resources:
- Watch: Proceed with Caution when Arriving at Life’s Intersections
- Send in an e-blast or post on your social channels: Don’t Be a Speed Demon
People are being tugged in different directions by all that is going on the world today. Some are working from home, juggling jobs and kids. Some are on the front line, putting in long hours to keep supply chains open or treat coronavirus patients. Others are worried about their jobs. Still others are focused on putting food on the table. All of these concerns are legitimate. All of them deserve your thought and attention.
So does safety. When you are behind the wheel, drive like you are sharing the road with family members and friends. This is not open season for driving in reckless fashion. This is the season to make safety your choice.