TMS has found that fatigue is an intangible behavioral variable and has been missed in standard BBS programs and may be the most important.
Most companies do not allow their supervisors to work alongside the employees who are “in the heat.” How can a supervisor understand how fatigue affects an employee’s approach towards work if they do not do the work themselves?
Most trained employees will work safely when they are fresh, but as fatigue sets in, corners can be cut and unfortunately, safe working practices are usually the first corners cut. This is when the supervisor needs awareness and can assure that employees are not getting into an over-fatigued state.
An only-observing supervisor misses this because they do not understand. Many supervisors attend meetings while other employees are still working. The supervisor is rested, unlike the employees on the floor.
Moreover, pressure is commonly put upon the supervisor in these meetings to push workers to hurry up and meet the daily scheduled requirements. Workers will usually respond and hurry up, many times cutting the safety corners. This action can compound the gap between the supervisor’s understanding and the reality of what is happening to the employees on the factory floor.
A working-supervisor understands and can mentor safe work practices for themselves and for all employees, yet, also keep productivity up.