Maintaining constant awareness of the many potential hazards on the jobsite is difficult even when you are refreshed and focused. It can be nearly impossible to maintain if you are drowsy or distracted. Working while extremely tired and sleepy can be as dangerous as working while drunk. As more work is being done at night or extended weekend shifts, the potential for worker fatigue increases. Fatigue can accumulate over time and continue to desensitize you to risks.
Distractions can also keep you from maintaining risk awareness on the job. Your cell phone or smart device is one of the biggest distractors. While most agencies prohibit use of personal devices while working, more and more equipment and work tasks rely on workers utilizing these devices for job duties. Use of such devices reduces work accuracy and increases reaction times. In fact, someone using one of these devices can actually experience “risk blindness,” where hazards that are normally very visible are not even noticed. More information about worker fatigue and distraction effects and countermeasures can be found here. Examples of some policies regarding the use of electronic devices on the job can be found here.
To combat the risks of worker fatigue and distraction due to electronic devices, a new awareness and training initiative has been developed. The theme of this initiative as ALERT & ALIVE. The premise is that, unlike video games, where players can be virtually reborn after being killed, there are no “do-overs” if an accident occurs at a real-world jobsite. Tips for reducing risks on the job from being fatigued or distracted with electronic devices have been incorporated into posters and tip cards that can be accessed below for those agencies and companies that want to print their own. In addition, two short (20-minute) on-line training modules have been developed, one for workers and one for managers and supervisors. These modules illustrate how fatigue and distraction affect safety on the jobsite, and educate the viewer on ways to mitigate those effects. Links to those modules are also provided below.
ALERT & ALIVE logos
Worker Fatigue Risks and Mitigation Strategies
Worker Distraction Risks and Mitigation Strategies
On-Line Training Modules on Worker Fatigue and Distraction Risks and Mitigation Strategies
An on-line training module (in either English or Spanish) is available to help workers understand and minimize their risks of fatigue and distraction caused by electronic device use while working. Another module has been developed to assist supervisors and managers understand the risks and develop programs and procedures to reduce the risks to their workers. Both of these modules can be accessed as follows:
- Go to https://fofcom.com/WZC/login/index.php
- Select the Create New Account option
- Fill in the required fields marked with an *
- Type workersafety into the field labeled “enrollment key”
- Finish filling out the information and then click create account at the bottom of the page
- Click on the link that appears that takes you to the worker situational awareness modules
- Select the appropriate module of interest. Modules are available in both English and Spanish.