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About 7HourSleep - Workplace Fatigue Management

Workplace Fatigue Management

7HourSleep, in conjunction with BSS Africa, specialises in Fitness for Work (FFW) consulting, assessment and education across South Africa. These services cover the following four major areas:




The services offered include:


Assesment and Education

Education is delivered through interactive workshops for groups of up to 20 participants and are facilitated by psychologists or other appropriate occupational health and safety professionals. The training focuses on the key knowledge and skills individuals require to manage and improve their own and others’ fitness for work. This includes the opportunity to assess their own skills and behaviours relevant to the area and to develop a personal Fitness-For-Work profile and an individual improvement plan. Workshops are already implemented in 58 organisations across different industries involving more than 50 000 people.


Please click on a Programme below for more information:

Current efforts to manage fatigue can be reviewed. This includes a review of policies and procedures, rosters, efforts to promote employee self-management, supervisor training, accommodation (where provided), drug and alcohol management and a range of other factors that impact on fatigue. The review process is based on BSS’s comprehensive protocol (see below) and this forms the basis of a detailed written report setting out the findings and any required recommendations. Such reviews have been carried out across all Australian states and for various international clients in the USA, Mongolia, South Africa, Namibia and a number of countries in west and east Africa.

Roster Assessments can be undertaken utilising a process based on the various Australian and New Zealand codes of practice. This allows a detailed assessment of the design of the roster and evaluates the degree of compliance (or otherwise) with the relevant state code. The table shows a sample roster assessment and this forms part of a comprehensive report detailing any concerns and suggested corrective and/or mitigating strategies.

The employee level fatigue training covers the following areas:

  • The extent and causes of fatigue in modern life and its effect on health, safety and performance
  • The impact of shiftwork on health and ways to minimise these impacts
  • The sleep cycle, including the importance of different typesof sleep for physical and psychological recuperation
  • Sleep hygiene – improving the quantity and quality of sleep
  • Effects of alcohol and drugs on sleep and alertness
  • Circadian rhythms and their impact on alertness and safety
  • Improving alertness management on night shift
  • Eating to improve alertness and promote sleep 
  • Getting to sleep and staying asleep after night shift
  • Managing shift change
  • Safe commuting, particularly after night shift
  • Returning to site rested and fit for work

As a result of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Improve their normal sleep
  • Better manage their alertness when working at night
  • Improve their ability to initiate and increase day time sleep
  • Better manage important issues (shift change, re-adapting to days after night shift, etc.)

As part of the programme, participants undertake a comprehensive assessment to determine the level and causes of their own fatigue. An example assessment “How Tired Are You?” is shown opposite. Throughout the course, participants assess the effectiveness of their current sleep and shiftwork strategies and create an individual fatigue profile (see opposite). The trainer reviews each profile during the workshop and assists the person to develop an individual fatigue management plan.

With participants’ consent, BSS collects these individual results and provides an aggregated report to the company. This provides a detailed analysis of the major individual issues causing fatigue in the workforce.

Note: The report does not contain any information that identifies individuals.
Programme Duration: 6 hours

This training programme provides supervisors with the following knowledge and skills:

  • The organisation’s approach to managing fitness for work / fatigue
  • The skills and attitudes necessary to manage fitness for work in a constructive manner (in particular to encourage employees to report when they or others may be fatigued or otherwise unfit for work)
  • Assessing signs that individuals may be fatigued or otherwise unfit for work
  • Providing feedback to support concerns about an individual’s fitness for work
  • Providing appropriate support to assist the individual to address fitness for work issues
  • Assisting employees to access medical, EAP or other assistance
  • Assisting employees to develop an appropriate plan to address fitness for work issues
  • Ensuring appropriate documentation of fitness for work issues
  • Developing a 'FFW aware' culture in their workgroups

Important: Supervisors need to have already attended either the Fatigue workshop or the Alcohol and Other Drug workshop
Programme Duration: 8 hours

This education programme provides employees with:

  • An understanding of “fitness for work” and its importance
  • The supporting programmes established to manage fitness for work such as:
    • education and training
    • the Employee Assistance Programme
    • fitness for work assessment including alcohol and drug testing
  • How fitness for work is assessed, including the various components of an alcohol and drug-testing programme
  • The procedures to manage individuals who are unfit for work as a result of alcohol or drug use
  • The prevalence of alcohol and drug use in the area or country
  • How the major types of psychoactive drugs can affect fitness for work
  • How long alcohol and drugs stay in the body
  • Safe levels of alcohol consumption
  • The impact of inappropriate alcohol or drug use on health
  • Effects of alcohol and drugs on work performance and safety
  • Participants undertake a self-assessment of their fitness for work including:
  • A brief assessment of their levels of fatigue and possible sleeping disorders
  • Alcohol use
  • Caffeine, nicotine and other drug use
  • Psychological issues (e.g., stress, driving style, risk taking, responsibility towards safety)
  • Lifestyle management

Programme Duration: 4 hours (BSS can deliver two programmes per day, if requested)

This training programme is for employees at all levels of the organsation. It has the following objectives:

  • To increase understanding of mental health and mental health problems, and to reduce the associated stigma
  • To create a supportive workplace for individuals with mental health issues
  • To provide information about the most common forms of mental health issues
  • To raise awareness of suicide at all levels within the organisation
  • To provide employees with strategies to promote their own mental health including:
    • developing a better understanding and management of stress
    • improving their work/life balance
    • increasing their resilience and ability to bounce back
  • To increase the willingness to access assistance to address mental health issues
  • To increase the willingness to support and assist others to address mental health issues
  • To encourage the development of an organisation-wide mental health strategy

The course content includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Stress / critical incident stress / trauma
  • Taking care of yourself – including the role of sleep, eating for mental and physical health, exercise to stay healthy, managing faulty thinking and stress management
  • The relaxation response
  • Developing resilience
  • Conflict management BSS offers a range of Mental Health education programmes that can be designed to meet the needs of each organisation.

The intention of this multimedia programme (40 minutes duration) is to introduce basic fatigue concepts and to function as a periodic refresher following more intensive training. It covers the following key areas:

  • An introduction to fatigue and fitness for work
  • The causes and effects of fatigue
  • Sleep and how to improve it
  • Circadian rhythms and shift work
  • Managing fatigue at night
  • Shift work, health and wellbeing
  • Safe commuting.
  • Each section has a short, interactive quiz to ensure mastery of the content. The programme is fully customised with corporate livery, logos and company photos and is accompanied by a fully customised booklet.

The programme utilizes a range of graphics and other devices to illustrate key issues and engage learner interest. The combination of spoken presentation, screen text and written materials make the programme suitable for individuals with lower literacy skills. The programme is provided via an interactive CD and intranet format and there is also a “train-thetrainer” version for facilitation by in-house trainers in small groups.

Peer support programmes are in wide use across the mining industry and emergency services (police, fire, ambulance). Peer supporters are employees trained to assist colleagues cope with stressful demands and challenging situations that occur at work. It is particularly useful following highly stressful incidents and enhances the effectiveness of professional EAP counsellors responding to such situations.

Peer support is also a very useful strategy to provide support to traditionally hard-to-engage groups such as blue-collar males, indigenous and migrant employees. The introduction of a peer support programme typically sees an increase in such groups accessing more formal services such as the EAP.


Find out more...

For more information on Workplace Fatigue Management, please do not hesitate to contact us or by sending an email to info@7hoursleep.co.za.


 BBS Africa Brochure      BBS Africa Website

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for education purposes only and intended to answer some of the frequently encountered questions about the meaning of 'Sleep' and 'Fatigue'. If you have any questions regarding the information contained on the website or in the brochures please consult with your healthcare practitioner.