Does NASA’s culture pay tribute to overwork? A look at the careers of our best-known engineers, scientists and safety specialists can lead to a simple conclusion: long days and nights, accompanied by high stress, lead to high achievement. Successful research and exploration don’t happen without the investment of time and effort.
However, cumulative fatigue is not just unhealthy, it’s unproductive. We behave as if intoxicated, showing impaired judgment and slowed reflexes. No amount of coffee, energy drinks or other stimulants allows us to “power through” the exhaustion.
This month’s Safety Message focuses on the effects of fatigue in the workplace as well as countermeasures to prevent or mitigate those effects. I encourage you to discuss how to combat workplace fatigue with your staff and work to implement smarter scheduling and recognize human limitations.