Fight Fatigue!

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 22/08/2012 - 16:02,

LU Occupational Health's guidance on avoiding fatigue from shift work made interesting reading.

From it, we learnt it is beneficial to 'eat at regular times' and 'go to bed and get up at the same time'.

We learnt that the causes of fatigue are 'insufficient rest breaks between shifts and within a shift', 'sleep debt', and 'having to work at a low point of the day, e.g. early hours of the morning or mid to late'

Recommended to reduce fatigue: 'arrange for quality breaks before the working day', 'restrict night shifts to four in a row' and 'make sure employees have the opportunity to sleep for at least eight hours between shifts'.

Sounds like LU's own occupational health department needs to have a word with LU's management. 30 minute meal breaks are standard, and barely allow for a cup of tea and a sit down. Short staffing means twelve hours between duties is pretty standard too. And how many people would love to get rid of seven night shifts in a row?

We can't rely on LU to deliver this stuff for us. Unions are often very good at fighting for the 'safety' part of 'health and safety', but focus less on the 'health'. As workers we should kick up a fuss within our unions to ask them to campaign for our health as well.

It's proven that the work we do by its nature has a detrimental impact on our health. That is not something we should just accept.

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