About the project
The Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) places responsibilities on DHBs and on nurses for managing fatigue as a cause of workplace hazards, with WorkSafe guidance material identifying shift work as a major cause of fatigue. Scientific research has highlighted that performance impairment due to fatigue is caused primarily by sleep loss, extended wakefulness, working and sleeping at suboptimal times in the circadian body clock cycle, and workload. Duty/rest limits do not adequately address this combination of. The approach the project is taking follows the basic safety management cycle.
The overall goal is to improve health service delivery by improving both patient safety (reducing fatigue-related clinical error and improving the quality of nursing care) and the safety, health, quality of life, and retention of nurses. Our approach draws from international best practice in nursing and other sectors.