Fatigue is a safety hazard as it can reduce your ability to do your job, affects your wellbeing and can lead to accidents. Not enough sleep, night work, irregular and long working hours, repetitive tasks and high work demands can all lead to fatigue. Fatigued individuals suffer poor judgement and make bad decisions. You need to manage the risk of fatigue.
Reduce fatigue as a seafarer by:
- take regular breaks
- eat and exercise regularly
- rotate work tasks
- take naps if you can’t have a long break
- see a doctor for treatment if you think you have a sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnoea
- find more at the Australian Seafarers’ Welfare Council.
Reduce fatigue as a master or person in charge can do:
- Provide enough staff and resources to conduct tasks safely and effectively.
- Make sure schedules include work hours, rest periods and long sleep breaks. Keep reassessing and changing where necessary.
- Offer fatigue awareness training to seafarers and other workers.
- Arrange napping plans to use when long periods of sleep are not available. Naps are a good boost of alertness but they do not replace the need for a long period of sleep.
- Altering the ships work areas to support alertness when working such as bright lights and air ventilation.
- Altering the ships sleep areas to support sleep when resting such as dim lighting and quiet spaces if possible.
Read the Maritime Safety Awareness Bulletin about Fatigue (Issue 5) and see the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 for more information.