Am I likely to be too fatigued?

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It can be difficult to predict how fatigued you’ll be throughout your shift - you may feel OK when you wake up, or when you book-on, but it’s hard to tell how tired you’re likely to become later.  You may underestimate your risk of becoming fatigued, and the serious effects this might have on your own safety and on other people’s safety.  

To help with these decisions RSSB project T1130 on Developing and trialling fitness for duty (fatigue) decision aids developed an individual, mini-fatigue-assessment tool. It combines:

  • some rough rules-of-thumb on how much sleep you’ve had recently, and how long you’re likely to be awake
  • some simple fatigue questions
  • a sleepiness rating scale 

This tool can help you make better-informed decisions about whether you’re likely to be able to safely work your whole shift, and get safely back to where you’re sleeping afterwards.  

The tool recognises that everyone’s different and that many things affect fatigue (for example your sleep quality, general health and well-being, the nature of your tasks & working environment, and the time of day or night). A “safe” amount of sleep for one person may not be enough for someone else. It’s vital to raise any concerns you have, so if in doubt, put safety first - tell your supervisor immediately, and don’t put yourself or others at risk.