Guidelines and suggestions for managing fatigue over the summer period
With the holiday season upon us we need to be even more vigilant of the risks of fatiguewhen on duty with St John, and in general.Fatigue, is a risk that we deal with all the time, however over the holiday period and in theheat there are several conditions and circumstances which make the hazard even moreprevalent, and the normal mitigation strategies less effective.
Why is fatigue greater over the holiday period:
- Increased number of events, and often more of the division on holidays- St John duties are often sandwiched into family and other commitments- Rest patterns can be disturbed with different working hours and holiday schedules- There is generally an increased consumption of fatty foods and alcohol over theperiod- The hot conditions disturb sleep patterns and hydration levels- Reduced levels of exercise and disturbance to the normal fitness regime- The holiday period is a stressful period for many people.
How do I know if I am fatigued?
Everyone reacts differently in different situations, however here are some criteria whichwould indicate that you are probably fatigued and not fit for St John duty:- You have had less than six hours sleep prior to the start of your shift- You have had less than twelve hours sleep in the last 48hrs- You have drunk more than 4 standard alcoholic drinks between your last sleepand your shift starting- Your eyes are tired and you are experiencing long eye blinks (1-2 seconds)- You have difficulty focussing- You have difficulty concentrating- You are finding it an effort to stay awakeThere are many other signs of fatigue, however these are the most common. If you areexperiencing this before you start an event, you should contact your Operations Officer or the Event Commander to notify them of your situation.