PLH GROUP NEWS
Working While Drowsy
Date: October 20, 2021
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 20% of adult drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year. Additionally, 40% say they have fallen asleep at least once while driving. Wow! Drowsy Driving Prevention Week raises awareness of this issue and gives participants tips on staying alert while driving.
But PLH Group is taking this one step further. As a leading, full-service power line construction, pipeline construction and specialty contractor, PLH Group employees deliver expert energy-focused construction services. This work involves precision, teamwork, and reliability to ensure a safe, quality delivery.
“Whether driving on the road, working on a utility pole, or simply walking across our job sites, employees are always diligent and focused on hazard identification. It is so important that workers are fully attentive at all times,” said Vice President of Safety, Health, and Environmental Elsie Bentley.
Working while drowsy is a routine safety topic discussed throughout PLH Group job sites spanning the United States and into Canada. These conversations include:
- Fit for Work: Has the worker had even a small amount of alcohol or taken any medications that can cause sleepiness?
- Shift Changes: Has the worker’s shift changed without time to change his or her sleep patterns?
- Overtime: Has the worker worked overtime or multiple jobs, resulting in fatigue?
- Breaks: Is the worker taking necessary breaks to eliminate complacency and exhaustion?
Teams also discuss how to identify if a worker is too drowsy to work, including:
- Difficulty focusing on the task
- Excessive blinking
- Disconnected thoughts
- Excessing yawning
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Nodding head
If a worker is experiencing these symptoms, he or she should take a break and talk to a supervisor.
“No work is so important that it should risk safety,” added Elsie. “As part of our PREVENT safety program, our workforce is trained to identify and avoid unsafe work practices, including those that result from fatigue.”
The PREVENT System uses safety components – such as STAR (Stop. Think. Act. Review.), Behavioral-Based Safety (BBS) Observer, and Stop Work Responsibly – to integrate safe work practices into every step of the task.
PLH Group prides itself on its strong safety culture and consistent delivery of safe, quality work. With a combination of leadership support and team awareness, PLH Group employees maintain a commitment to safety, including never working while drowsy.