Fatigue Management - National Safe Work Month

BY: Tracey Mesken21/10/2015

​October is National Safe Work Month and is a great opportunity for all of us to focus on promoting safety in the workplace to reduce death, injury and disease, so be proactive in managing your fatigue.What is Fatigue?Fatigue is more than feeling tired and drowsy. In a work context, fatigue is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces a person’s ability to perform work safely and effectively.It can occur because of prolonged or intense mental or physical activity, sleep loss and/or disruption of the internal body clock.Signs of fatigue include:Tiredness even after sleepReduced hand-eye coordination or slow reflexesShort term memory problems and an inability to concentrateBlurred vision or impaired visual perceptionA need for extended sleep during days off workWhat causes Fatigue?Fatigue can be caused by work related or non-work related factors or a combination of both.Work related causes of fatigue include excessively long shifts, not enough time to recover between shifts and blocks of shifts, very strenuous jobs and long commuting times. An example of non-work related fatigue would be poor quality sleep due to street noise or family demands.The body clockMost people are day-orientated meaning they are most alert and productive in the daytime and sleep at night.The circadian rhythms (the body clock) cause regular variations in individual body and mental functions repeated approximately every 24 hours.  These rhythms regulate sleeping patterns, body temperature, heart rate, hormone levels, digestion and many other functions.Circadian rhythms influence job performance and quality of sleep. Most of the body’s basic functions show maximum activity by day and minimum activity by night. These body rhythms affect the behaviour, alertness, reaction times and mental capacity of people to varying degrees.Reducing the risk of fatigueTo reduce the risk of being involved in a work incident caused by fatigue, you should:Comply with your organisation’s policies and procedures relating to fatigue.Understand your sleep, rest and recovery needs and obtain adequate rest and sleep away from work.Seek medical advice and assistance if you have or are concerned about a health condition that affects your sleep and/or causes fatigue.Assess your own fitness for work before commencing work.Monitor your level of alertness and concentration while you are at work.Look out for signs of fatigue in the people you work with.In consultation with your supervisor, take steps to manage fatigue, for example take a break or short nap (night shift), maintain hydration (drink water), do some stretching or physical exercise, adjust the work environment (lighting, temperature).Talk to your supervisor or manager if you foresee or experience being impaired by fatigue likely to create a health and safety risk e.g. because of a health condition, excessive work demands or personal circumstances.Assess your fatigue levels after work and take suitable commuting and accommodation options (e.g. avoiding driving if fatigued).WorkPac is focused on Zero Harm, the safety of our people is our absolute priority.  To report a safety incident or hazard call us on 1300 967 572.


Will a criminal record prevent me from working in the mines?

BY: Tracey Mesken12/09/2013

​So, you want to work in the Australian resources industry but worried about a couple of past slip ups with the law? Fair enough.  Mining jobs all across the country can offer a rewarding and exciting career opportunity for those willing to work hard and commit themselves. However, before you start sending out job applications, it's important to consider whether employers will see you as a safe and worthwhile hire.​In the past, mines had a reputation for being seedy places filled with criminals. But today, most mining employers prefer to fill their roster with safe, reliable and sensible people.What sort of crimes will prevent me from working in the mines? A criminal record won't necessarily prevent you from securing employment in the mining industry, but there are certain crimes that many employers will take seriously. Different mines/employers will have restrictions on their employees. Generally, most mining companies will not be concerned about small former infractions on your record. However, many maintain a zero tolerance policy for offences related to violence or drug use.Should I disclose my criminal history to employers? Yes. At the end of the day, honesty is always the best option. You will have a far better chance of overcoming your criminal record if you are willing to discuss it openly with your employer. Many mining employers do a thorough background check on employees before hiring anyone, so it is likely that your past will come to the fore regardless. Lying about your previous infringements will almost certainly put you out of the running. If you are unsure about any crimes that may have been marked against you, consider contacting your relevant state or territory police service and asking for a formal summary of your police record.