Monitoring Symptoms of Fatigue

Our industry, the transportation industry, is fortunate to have a number of extremely hard-working professionals. Professionals that have the ability to make things happen, even when the odds may be against us.


As a result of such hard work, over a prolonged period of time, one would hope that the only outcome would be success and satisfaction. But in my experience, and others I am sure, that is not the only consequence of our efforts. After long hours for extended periods, our bodies and minds will progressively experience symptoms of fatigue, which as a result, can lead to actions that result in serious or potentially life-altering injuries.


Depending on whom you are speaking to, fatigue can be defined a little differently. For example, a safety professional of 30 years would probably have a more scientific explanation than a professional driver who has only been operating over the road for a short time.

Fatigue has a number of symptoms, such as tiredness or sleepiness, sore and weak muscles, slower reaction times and can prohibit the ability to react at all. I am sure as you are reading this article, some may even be experiencing one or more of these symptoms.


I believe these symptoms are essential to discuss and to monitor, but for this article, I felt it was appropriate to discuss a different symptom as a result of fatigue. The symptom I am referring to is our mood, and the negative impact fatigue can have on such.


The mood can be defined as "a state or quality of feeling at a particular time". At this particular time, we continue to face unprecedented challenges. As we approach the year mark of the pandemic, I find it harder to find uplifting news on any platform. Over the last handful of months, I have observed a number of colleagues and professionals in my network, putting in even more hours to get the job completed, to help keep things afloat. Naturally, one could assume these trials and tribulations could negatively impact one's mood.


In my experience, it is extremely difficult to shake off a negative mood. When your mind feels heavy, even the smallest of tasks becomes difficult. Tasks, such as cleaning out the cab of the truck after your trip, completing documentation properly, or moving that tangled up extension cord that multiple people have walked over just because someone couldn't be bothered to do so. In your workplace, I am sure you could think of similar examples.


Statistics show 600 near-misses can lead to 1 fatality. Under normal circumstances, that is an alarming statistic. In our current climate, I would say it is even more alarming. As leaders in our organizations, it is our responsibility to ensure we provide the safest workplace possible. One way we can work towards meeting this obligation is to monitor fatigue, which includes monitoring our employee's moods.


If you identify a colleague in a less than pleasant mood, reach out. Now, more than ever, we as leaders need to show empathy and compassion. By doing so, we have the opportunity to not only resolve a near miss but to save a life.


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Did you know, that Pivotal Transportation Industry Solutions offers online compliance training that is designed by industry experts, to help ensure you meet your regulatory requirements?


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