Combating crew fatigue and related maritime injury risks

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | Commercial Seamen |

In any industry, fatigue raises the odds that a serious mistake will lead to job-related injuries. For instance, one study determined that roughly two-thirds of all workers claimed they had been so tired on the job that they had made errors. Another 41% added that they would forget essential things that they were supposed to do, while 21% missed work meetings and other things of this nature as a result of their fatigue.

In other words, it’s clear that tired workers make more mistakes and errors. This is perhaps an especially important consideration within the maritime industry because the long hours and very strenuous work render maritime professionals uniquely vulnerable to fatigue-related injuries.

Most crews are not just mentally tired, but physically tired as well. This can lead to accidents and injuries, and it can create unsafe working conditions. Both employers and employees need to know what steps they can take to better avoid serious maritime accidents caused by fatigue.

A proper sleep schedule

Naturally, one major factor contributing to fatigue in the maritime industry is that sleep schedules can be thrown off by work duties. It may also be harder for some people to sleep on a ship than it would be at home. It’s very important to have set schedules in place and for employees to ensure that they get a proper night’s sleep before starting a shift. It’s easy for some people to think they can just tough it out on a few hours, but that could be a very dangerous decision.

Hydration and nutrients

A lack of calories or a lack of hydration can also accentuate fatigue. Someone who is tired will make fewer mistakes if they have eaten enough food and if they are properly hydrated at all times. This is why even short breaks during the workday can be important. They give workers a chance to catch up in these areas.

Be honest

Most of all, employees need to make sure that they are willing to tell a supervisor if they are so fatigued that they think the situation has become dangerous. Workers may be tempted to try to keep on pushing through, but everyone needs to know their limits.

All that being said, if a worker is injured on the job, it is also important for all involved to know about the next legal steps to take. Otherwise, fatigue-related injuries will also become financial burdens.