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Published on : Sep 10, 2013

Workplace fatigue is a rising phenomenon in the energy industry. In order to counter this productivity-sapping trend, Enform-the safety association for Canada\'s upstream oil and gas industry-recently launched the `Fatigue Risk Management Guiding Principles\', a set of pointers and guiding principles to address the risks associated with workplace fatigue in the context of the energy sector. The set of guiding principles was launched after getting a stamp of approval from six major industry associations. 

Labor shortage can often lead to extended working hours in the energy sector, increasing the risk of labor fatigue as well as several resultant safety concerns. According to Enform officials, the set of guiding principles demonstrate that countering workplace fatigue is a shared responsibility of the Canadian energy sector, and that all major industry associations are waking up to this top priority. 

In the past, research carried out by Alberta Human Services has shown that the level of impairment caused by stress and fatigue is similar to that caused by alcohol. Working for extended periods of time may cause a worker\'s sensory functions to be as impaired as a person with a high concentration of blood alcohol levels.

Enform officials said that the new set of principles is part of a larger project to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of workplace fatigue in the energy sector. The next step in this direction would see the association developing resources and industry tools for a fatigue management program, as well as redeveloping Enform\'s existing ‘Employers Guide to Designing and Implementing a Fatigue Management Program\'.