Most people assume “impairment” is synonymous with “intoxication” or “a drugged state.” The reality is that cognitive impairment can be caused by fatigue, stress, distraction, illness and many other factors and can make workers not "fit-for-duty" leading to mistakes, accidents, or worse.
According to the National Safety Council, 69% of employees are tired at work. Fatigue can affect performance, and in high-risk activities mistakes can be fatal. It's even thought to have been a factor in industrial disasters such as the 2005 Texas City BP oil refinery explosion, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Currently, screening for impairment in the workplace is limited to biological testing for alcohol and/or drugs – leaving the hazard of fatigue uncontrolled.
Everyone is susceptible to fatigue, stress and distraction, but it is not always easy to recognize or self-diagnose. Often, we think a coffee, or a bit of fresh air will clear the mind or help us to perk-up for work. However, when our ability to make sound decisions and react optimally is inhibited, worksite safety is compromised.
At the very least, an employee who is not fit-for-duty is not a productive or effective one. A drowsy or unfocused mind wanders and makes mistakes, often having to repeat tasks and fix errors.
Fatigue, stress and distractions are a normal part of life. No one is immune to getting tired and life’s circumstances are simply unavoidable, as are our body’s natural responses to these stressors. The question of what has caused the impairment is not nearly as relevant as the impact that it can have on a worksite.
When we shift the focus from cause to impact, we are presented an opportunity to mitigate risk in the moment. Assessing a worker’s cognitive function before or during a shift allows peers and supervisors peace-of-mind that the worker is mentally fit that day.
The bottom line is that the reasons to mitigate impairment risk in your workplace are obvious. If you're ready to learn about worksite impairment and how to measure if your team is fit-for-duty, sign up for our free webinar: Screening for fatigue and impairment in the workplace
You'll learn from industry experts including Dr. Lori Gausta & Murray Whitby, CPRH about:
- How fatigue and impairment affects workers
- What rules and regulations are currently in place
- How Aware4Duty can measure awareness in under 90 seconds
Aware360 understands people are the most important part of a workplace and strive to provide the tools to ensure they will have help whenever it’s needed. Driven by our passion for people, Aware360 creates solutions to connect people with personal technology, to those who care and can help. This ensures people are safe, especially where they are exposed to social, environmental or health risks.
From workers in the most remote locations to delivery drivers in urban areas, we provide the technology and response network to ensure their safety anywhere in the world. That’s the power our PeopleIoT™ solutions.