Fixing the problem
Fortunately, there are solutions. The first essential step is preventing the work conditions that cause employee fatigue in the first place. A thorough review of all jobs and shifts within the organisation will identify those functions that cause fatigue, require statutory rest periods or are at risk of fatigue-related incidents.
A step further is to provide an automated technology solution in order to better manage the three components that make up fatigue management.
- Time & attendance: This is your master record of hours worked, spelling out who worked, on what task and for how long. Having accurate information about time worked is crucial to knowing which employees may be approaching the threshold of fatigue.
- Rostering: Here you define who is going to work on what project, as well as when they’re going to start and stop. This view into projected work hours allows managers to avoid fatigue risks in advance when scheduling employees. Fatigue management alerts prevent managers from trying to schedule an employee who is fatigued or could become fatigued as a result of working a specific shift or shifts.
- Fatigue factors: A configurable rules engine tracks the rules, regulations and policies that govern your organisation’s fatigue mitigation strategy. This allows you to create a system that meets the unique needs of your business and allows managers to override alerts in certain circumstances. To be maximally effective, it must be able to consider different factors for specific jobs, in order to accurately reflect the distinct risk profile of a given shift and type of work.
Automating your fatigue management strategy allows managers to mitigate risks throughout your organisation, across all shifts and all employee groups. Managers are provided instant access to realtime information on employee work hours and rosters, including:
- complete, current views of rosters and employee fitness for duty
- triggered alerts if an employee’s fatigue risk changes
- guided processes for replacing fatigued workers with eligible call-ins
- detailed reporting on fatigue management policy compliance
In addition, automating time & attendance and rostering processes provides proof of compliance. The audit trail within a time & attendance system captures all activities, while historical records support employers against any litigation/regulatory actions.
With the shift towards self-service technology, it stands to reason that employees themselves should have more say in their work schedules. However, research from Kronos
, Live to Work, or Work to Live?
, found that only 13% of workers could change their rosters through a work computer, while only 9% could do so through a website, and 7% through a mobile application. More than half (54%) of rostered workers said their rostering system could be improved if they could collaborate online with other workers to change shifts.