I fear this little word is known by a lot of business owners across South Africa. Fact is lack of sleep is becoming a real problem. Case and point: When I worked as a safety officer I noticed that the elderly employment was much more productive at nightshifts and I was told it is because they need less sleep.
This is possible but here are a few factors that you can look at; Stress, Anxiety, Caffeine before bedtime and Overeating will rob you of your much needed sleep. Normal aging can lead to a reduction in sleep requirements but it is recommended that you try and maintain healthy sleeping hours.
So what problems can you have with your work force? Well you can end up with equipment abuse, equipment loss, and even death if left unchecked and trust me this is a major problem not yet realized by industry. The fact is the human body is driven to the point where it will shut-down in order to protect the brain and this is where blackout start showing and at this point in time you have a real risk and potential hazard to deal with. Not to mention the cost that will go with the onsite injury.
Now this post is to make you aware that this is a potential problem and even in normal 9 to 5 day jobs you can still get these problems. It is my opinion that you do an annual check and daily observations on your staff just to make sure that you can identify a possible problem early. Deaths and accidents is a very real possibility and there are documented cases. So a good tip for 2010; take care of yourself by sleeping and getting the rest you need to function.
Take care of your staff because they are also an investment!