Toolbox Talk – Fatigue

I’m tired and fatigue as I write this…. I got up at 5am, I rode my bike for an hour before driving to the airport which normally takes an hour. I had to catch 2 planes and then drive 2 hours to the site I was working at. I had a training session at 6pm that went for an hour and a half. Then I had dinner and now I’m supposed to write this toolbox talk blog and catch up on some other work that has piled up while I was travelling.

Now my job is fairly sedentary, I don’t have to lift heavy things, I don’t have to dig or shovel or rake dirt. I also don’t have to operate heavy machinery or equipment.

But I do feel the effects of fatigue.

If I get tired on the plane I can nod off and the worst thing that can happen is I spill my drink. If I get tired in the car I will always pull over and have a power nap. And if I fall asleep at the keyboard all you will get is a jumble of letters…….

But what about those of us who do operate machinery, work in or near moving plant and equipment? What about operating a 250 plus tonne dump truck, or a dragline and we get a bit fatigued and fall asleep! The results can be catastrophic!!!!

So I guess my point is make sure you know your limits and put systems in place to deal with fatigue. And don’t try to cheat it!

I know of a truck driver on a mine site that was feeling a little tired. They were on the last night shift for the week so the cumulative effects of long shifts and night work had resulted in them being quite fatigued. They had followed the site procedure the previous night and radioed the supervisor to explain that they were tired and needed a 15 minute break but they did not want to call the supervisor again on this night.

So this truck driver decided that if they damaged the truck, the fitters would have to come out and work on it and they would get a break, while they were repairing it.

They drove into a large rock that had fallen off the back of another truck and damaged the radiator, the strut, the tyre and the wheel. All up about $110,000 worth of damage.
During the incident investigation the operator admitted that they had intentionally damaged the truck so they could have a rest and they were subsequently dismissed.

But my question for you is what if this person had been hurt when they hit the rock? Or what if this vehicle had hit the rock and then lost control and hit another vehicle or piece of machinery and injured someone else?

So let’s make sure that you have the systems in place to manage fatigue.

We need to educate our workmates on…
How to recognise fatigue..
How to manage fatigue
What we need to do to deal with fatigue
Have fatigue management systems in place and make sure that your people use them.

Regular toolbox talks on fatigue and encourage lifestyle choices that minimise fatigue both on and off the job.

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Up next.. Toolbox Talk – Safety Glasses

CNB Safe Toolbox Talks Fatigue