Have you experienced fatigue on the farm?
You may be fatigued if you regularly experience some (or several) of the following:
Our bodies can be tested and become fatigued during harvest times, or when intense work is necessary.
You may experience fatigue if:
- you had less than 6 hours sleep in the past 24 hours
- you had less than 12 hours sleep in the past 48 hours
- you will have been awake for 16 hours or more after a shift
- you've been exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures
- you've had to concentrate for a long period
Tips to avoid fatigue
While working, consider:
The leading cause of fatigue is lack of sleep
Proper sleep allows the brain and body to repair, so we can get up and go again the next day.
- prioritising sleep
- eating well and limiting caffeine and alcohol
- exercising regularly
- seeking medical advice when fatigue and/or disordered sleep (eg insomnia) continue
- seeking advice for depression, anxiety, grief, stress, addiction or other issues that interfere with your overall wellbeing and ability to work
Fatigue impairs reaction times, concentration, and the ability to think clearly and control our moods
For example, working for 17 continuous hours causes impairment equivalent to a 0.05 blood alcohol concentration.
If you or someone at work is fatigued:
- avoid driving home after the shift - make other arrangements to get home instead (eg get picked up by family or friends)
- avoid working alone or speak to your friends, neighbours, co-workers or family about regularly checking in