5 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Fatigue Risk Management Plan

Workplace fatigue is an issue that all employers should take seriously, regardless of industry. That is why today we are going to talk about why you need to create a Fatigue Risk Management Plan.

In the past, we have discussed the scary link between sleep and workplace safety, but there are so many other ways that drowsy workers can hurt your bottom line. Consider this fact sheet by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. On its list of the effects of fatigue and their relationship to work, they include:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Reduced communication skills
  • Reduced decision-making ability
  • Reduced attention
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Poor memory
  • Errors in judgment
  • Increased absenteeism, turnover, and medical costs

It doesn’t matter if you are a factory, a hospital, a store, or an office – you certainly don’t want fatigued team members suffering these effects inside your workplace!

And while some of the reason for fatigue can be personal, you also bear some of the responsibility, since you are the employer who controls their schedule and work environment for a large portion of their waking day.

benefits of a fatigue risk management plan

Many smart business owners and CEOs in a wide range of industries are implementing fatigue risk management plans because they recognize that they can play a significant role in preventing workplace fatigue. We shared what a fatigue risk management plan is in a past blog post, along with some of the most important elements that your plan should include.

But wait. Let’s back up.

Why do you even need a fatigue risk management plan in the first place? This list will explain the incredible benefits of a fatigue risk management plan for any business.

5 Benefits of a Fatigue Risk Management Plan

A fatigue risk management plan includes identifying the potential fatigue-related risks in your work, setting up processes to deal with situations on the job that are related to fatigue, and educating your workforce on proper sleep habits as part of an overall wellness initiative. By implementing these things, you can reap the following benefits.

1. Improved Safety

Safety is the most important issue because human lives are on the line. Do you employ workers who drive vehicles and heavy equipment or operate dangerous machinery? A quick doze off, a slight delay in reaction time, or a little trouble with hand-eye coordination puts them and their coworkers’ lives in danger. A fatigue risk management plan ensures that you are equipping your workers with the knowledge needed to set up better sleep habits. In the unfortunate case that you do have a fatigue-related incident, you will also have a pre-defined method for handling it.

how a fatigue risk management plan improves safety

2. Improved Productivity

A fatigue risk management plan can also improve productivity. Training sessions are designed to help your team understand how fatigue impacts their work and what they can do about it (at home and even at work, such as when they are fighting afternoon fatigue). Your employees will get more accomplished during the day when they are equipped with tools that make them alert, attentive, and mentally prepared to do the work.

3. Improved Health

Sleep deprivation has been linked to all kinds of health problems, including but not limited to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and depression. A fatigue risk management plan will help you protect the health of your valuable employees so you can have them around as long as possible.

benefits of a fatigue risk management plan

4. Improved Morale and Satisfaction

Another benefit of a fatigue risk management plan is increased morale and satisfaction; it works in two ways. For one, a fatigue risk management plan communicates to your employees that you care about their overall well-being; by setting one up, you are showing that you value them. In addition, workers who have better sleep habits feel better and are happier, which will contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment. Morale and satisfaction will help you retain your best workers, meaning fewer administration tasks like hiring and training.

5. Reduced Costs

A fatigue risk management plan can even save you money because of the boosted productivity, lower health costs, and less absenteeism. In fact, a 2016 study estimated that 80,000 working days are lost each year due to sleep deprivation. This costs Canada $21.4 billion per year or 1.35 percent of the GDP.

benefits of a fatigue risk management plan

This list demonstrates that there are several benefits of a fatigue risk management plan that will help your business no matter if your collar is blue, white, pink, green, or gray. Not only will having a plan help your business’s bottom line, but it also communicates that you value your employees as your biggest asset.


Are you interested in setting up a fatigue risk management plan for your business or adding a training component to your current plan? We can help! Visit our Corporate Sleep Solutions page to learn more and book a free consultation.

As the President and Founder of Sleepwell Consulting Inc. Amanda is a Sleep Educator who works with companies of all sizes to help promote better sleep and better business.