Coming into work healthy and in the right mindset every day is just as important as being properly trained or having the right tool for the job. Many factors, both on and off the job, affect how well or poorly we do our jobs on any given day. Some of the factors we will cover are sickness, fatigue, medication, and stress.
Sickness– We all get sick from time to time. Some illnesses are minor and work can continue, but others we need to stay home to get better before coming to work. When you are sick you may not be able perform your duties as needed and this can put yourself or others at risk for an injury. Know when it is time to stay home due to an illness. During flu season especially, it is important that you do not come to work and infect others. Not only are you not able to work to your fullest ability you also affect others being able to work due to being infected with your illness.
Fatigue– Fatigue is a killer on jobsites all across the country. Many employees work over the normal 40 hours a week. Add on the demands of home life and there are many people who are probably too tired to safely perform their functions. Get at least six hours of sleep a night and eat a balanced diet to help combat the demands of a busy life. Drink caffeinated drinks or take a break and stretch when feeling tired on the job.
Medication– Many medications affect how we feel. When starting a new medication it is important to try it off the job to see how it affects you. Ask your doctor about all of the side effects. Make sure he or she understands the work you do as well as any other medications you take. Let a supervisor know if you are not feeling well due to a medication. If you feel comfortable telling a coworker about what medication you are taking, let him or her know so they can keep an eye on you.
Stress– There is good stress as well as bad stress. We are more familiar with the bad stress. Stress from work demands, home demands, family problems, health problems, etc. affect us every day. A combination of high expectations for productivity and limited resources to complete work often leads to high stress levels on the job. It is important to be able to handle stress in a constructive way. Exercising or taking time to enjoy hobbies is a good way to relieve stress. Recognize when you are stressed and step away from the situation to take time to relax.
Whether it is sickness, fatigue, medication, or stress affecting you in a negative manner at work it is important to speak up and address the problem. When “simple fixes” are not enough to correct a health related issue it is important to let a supervisor know and cease the work task. Address the problem at its source to ensure you can continue to work productively and safely.