Today we’re delving into a hot topic amongst many shift working workplaces these days, and that’s workplace fatigue, along with that magical “R” word we’ve come to know and love which of course, stands for Rosters!
Professor Drew Hanson is the director of the Appleton Institute at Central Queensland University, and has spent the last 20 years studying the effects of shift work and fatigue, in particular on the impacts of accidents and injuries.
In this episode we go into the nitty gritty of roster design, who’s in charge of writing rosters, and why it’s important for organisations to listen to staff feedback, along with getting them more involved in the actual roster design process. Drew also goes through some of the reasons why it’s near impossible to come up with the “perfect” roster that’s going to suit every person, in every workplace.
In the context of fatigue, Drew highlights why we need to appreciate that for as long as we continue to work 24/7, we’re going to have to learn to “manage fatigue” as best we can, because we can never eliminate it completely. In other words we need to be talking more openly about fatigue in the workplace (instead of shunning it), and approach it from both an organisational and individual level by asking ourselves “how can we work safely whilst fatigued?”