Fatigue Management Tips During Work Time
It is essential to manage fatigue when you are actively at work and during downtime at the end of your shift. Effectively managing your fatigue will make your life a lot easier, as it will help you perform better on the job, get a better night’s sleep and cope with different swings and night shift.
There are plenty of things that can help you manage your fatigue while on the job; however, we tend to forget these until the last minute when we are exhausted.
Here is a list of things that you can do to manage fatigue while actively working on a mine site.
Foods and Fluids that Help Manage Fatigue
Many workers turn to energy drinks, fatty foods, and snacks full of sugar for that instant, quick fix, energy hit. However, these solutions are like a band-aid that won’t help with your fatigue; instead, they will increase your fatigue levels in the long run (and add a few extra cms to the hips).
It’s worth remembering that foods high in sugar will temporarily spike your energy before causing a dip straight after. Examples of foods that can cause extra fatigue include:
- sugary foods, including syrup and honey
- white bread
- baked goods – cakes etc.
- high caffeine drinks
- heavily processed foods, such as potato chips
If you’re looking to fight fatigue the right way, consider swapping the sugar for these alternatives.
Water – you should be aiming for at least 2L per day. Please don’t wait until you are thirsty, as this is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Instead, aim to drink water all day. If you struggle, there are several drink bottles you can buy that are insulated with mL written on the side so that you can keep track of your intake.
X50 Green Tea extract to water – this is a natural antioxidant energy drink that can be added to water. It gives you the same “pick me up” that energy drinks give you but are much healthier and also provide other antioxidants. They also make your water taste nice, can be purchased from chemists in little sachets and come in a variety of flavours.
Green Tea – boosts your immunity and gives you pep. If you find it boring, add a peppermint tea bag as well to give it some more flavour.
FATIGUE FIGHTING FOODS
Add these foods to your diet and give yourself the best chance of staying perky throughout those long shifts:
- sweet potatoes
- protein-rich foods (think chicken, steak, salmon and turkey)
- nuts and seeds
- dark chocolate
Alternative Ways to Manage Fatigue in Mining
Magnesium, Iron, B12, Vitamin C are all excellent at helping lower fatigue and increase your energy. Consider popping a Berocca into your water bottle at the beginning of a shift for a morning boost that will get you off on the right foot.
Most guys won’t want to do this one, but it may just help you get through that fatigue zone whilst at work and hey, let’s face it, anything that helps us get through a long shift should be considered.
You can purchase an essential oil inhaler and make up a mixture or add individual oils to give you a pick me up.
Maybe you could dilute them with sesame oil and put a few drops on your shirt throughout the night if you don’t want an inhaler (or put some on a cotton ball), you could make up a small bottle of essential oil and carry it in your lunch box and sniff it when you start to get fatigued.
Here are some of the oils that can fight fatigue:
Basil is a mental stimulant. The scent can help aid concentration, sharpen the senses, and help ease the heaviness of depression.
*Caution: Only a small amount is needed – Less is more with this oil.
Eucalyptus has many actions that can help when you’re fatigued. It stimulates the mind and aids concentration.
Rosemary great on roast lamb and is a highly stimulating oil. It clears the head, aids memory, and revitalises the brain. If you are using Rosemary, avoid it within 6 hours of bedtime, or if you have epilepsy, high blood pressure or are pregnant.
Some trucks have USB ports for you to take your music, or maybe you could even have an audiobook or a podcast playing. Make sure it is something that will keep you awake – upbeat music or an interesting podcast.
REGULATING YOUR TEMPERATURE
Changing the temperature is a great way to wake up your body on a long shift. There are a few ways to do this:
- Take a wet face washer to wipe your face down, helping you to wake up and feel refreshed.
- Open the truck window when you can to get a blast of fresh air.
- Adjust the temperature of your truck to be cooler.
Using Exercise to Manage Fatigue in Mining
As we all know, exercise can be an excellent fatigue fighter as it increases serotonin production in the body. But how can you do that operating machinery?
It is important to understand that too much exercise just before work may make you tired but if you can (and we get it’s not always easy, especially on day shift), try and go for a walk or a slow jog for 30 minutes.
Think ahead and take some props to use in the truck while you are waiting for it to be loaded. Here are some examples:
- Resistance bands for leg and arm exercises
- Small hand weights (or your water bottle) for arm exercises
- Hop out of your seat and do some squats and lunges. They will wake you up, get some blood pumping in your legs and lighten up that butt nicely.
At the tea break, make sure you also stand for the first few minutes to give your body a chance to stretch out after sitting for so long. Doing a few stretches before and after you get in/out of the truck will also help your muscles and body withstand the long periods of sitting.
Even seasoned miners struggle with fatigue management on the job. Long hours coupled with harsh conditions and limited down-time on the swing can and will take a toll on your body, so it is essential you are proactive in your fatigue management.
For more tips, or to book in training that will kickstart your mining career, get in contact with the friendly team at My Solution Training. Our trainers have over 70 years of combined mining experience and are guaranteed to give you the knowledge you need to succeed.