Many employers have an idea as to how fatigue can impact the health, morale and worker productivity, but there are also some misconceptions. Crown Mats and Matting hopes to clear up some of these misconceptions by offering the following Q&A about fatigue, how and why it occurs, and how anti-fatigue matting can help minimize worker fatigue.

Q. What is fatigue?

A. Fatigue refers to tiredness, exhaustion, and listlessness. It can be either physical or mental or both. When people experience physical fatigue, it means they cannot continue functioning at their normal levels of physical ability. Mental fatigue typically refers to feeling sleepy and being unable to concentrate properly.
Q. What are the primary causes of physical fatigue?

A. Physical fatigue can be caused by scores of things; however, in a work environment one of the primary causes is static standing on hard surfaces. What typically happens is there is a decrease in blood flow through the lower limbs, reducing oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles. As this happens, fatigue sets in along with muscle and joint pain.
Q. What are the primary consequences of fatigue?

A. The most common consequences of industrial workplace fatigue are injuries; accidents; discomfort in the feet, legs, and back; and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. A reduction in employee production rates also occurs, along with reduced employee morale and increased worker turnover.
Q. How can anti-fatigue mats help minimize worker fatigue?
A. An anti-fatigue mat provides a slight bounce-resilience that allows muscles to contract and expand. This helps increase blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to the lower limbs, which helps decrease fatigue.
"We should not overlook the financial implications of worker fatigue for employers," says Dennis Knapp, director of sales for Crown Mats. "Insurance rates can go up, illness and absenteeism increase, and worker productivity declines, all of which can negatively impact a company's bottom line."