Managing The Risk Of Fatigue At Work

A component of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) audit

From WorkSafeBC. Fatigue reduces a person’s ability to work safely and effectively. As a result, fatigue increases the risk of injuries or other incidents.

Employers must ensure that workers are not experiencing signs or effects of fatigue on the job. (See the “Relevant BC legislation” section below.)

All employers seeking COR certification must be able to prove — by means of an audit — that their occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) meets the COR program standards.

One element required in the OHSMS is hazard identification and control. Since fatigue can negatively affect safety at the workplace, employers need to include fatigue as a potential hazard in the identification process.

Employers also need to include fatigue in the hazard control process when indicated by a risk assessment. (See the “Relevant COR Standards and Guidelines elements” section below.)

During the audit, COR internal and external auditors will verify that fatigue is considered in the employer’s hazard recognition and control processes.

When reviewing the audit result as part of the quality assurance process, the certifying partner will confirm that fatigue is included as a component of the COR audit.

The WorkSafe bulletin on fatigue in the workplace (link provided in the “Resources” section below) discusses the signs, symptoms, effects, and causes of fatigue. It also provides links to other useful resources that will help you address fatigue. a tired worker

Relevant BC legislation*

  • Section 115(1)(a) of the Workers Compensation Act Every employer must ensure the health and safety of all workers working for that employer.
  • Section 116 (2) of the Workers Compensation Act Every worker must ensure that the worker’s ability to work without risk to his or her health or safety, or to the health and safety of any other person, is not impaired by alcohol, drugs or other causes. * There may also be applicable federal legislation to consider.
  • Section 4.19 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (1) A worker with a physical or mental impairment which may affect the worker’s ability to safely perform assigned work must inform his or her supervisor or employer of the impairment, and must not knowingly do work where the impairment may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else. (2) A worker must not be assigned to activities where a reported or observed impairment may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else.

Relevant COR standards and Guidelines elements

Appendix H, Large employer occupational health and safety audit standard

  • Hazard identification and control: A process to identify and control workplace hazards is critical in order to eliminate, minimize or prevent unsafe or harmful conditions and work procedures. All work, equipment, tools, machinery, work practices and conditions need to be included in the hazard recognition process

Appendix 1, Small employer occupational health and safety audit standard

  • Hazard or risk identification, assessment, and control:A process to identify and control workplace hazards or risks is critical in order to eliminate, minimize or prevent unsafe or harmful conditions and work procedures. All work, equipment, tools, machinery, work practices and conditions need to be included in the hazard recognition process.

Resources