Beating burnout with technology and automation

Beating burnout with technology and automation

Workplace burnout is an increasing problem across all sectors as the economic landscape fluctuates and competition influences demand on the workforce. For workers in the manufacturing sphere, physical fatigue is common, but burnout also refers to mental strain. In order to combat both impacts, it’s necessary to look at the causes and possible remedies.

How Industry 4.0 is helping prevent burnout

Increasingly, the timber processing industry is following the general manufacturing trend towards greater use of technology. ‘Industry 4.0’ refers to the concept of smart factories where machines are interconnected and communicate with each other to drive improved efficiencies across the entire production chain. Technological advancements can be introduced to replace repetitive, labour-intensive tasks such as long periods of standing while manually grinding cutterheads or face grinding knife steel. Workers can be reassigned to more engaging and rewarding ones.

Out in the timber processing areas, traditional infeed and outfeed material transfer systems can be physically demanding as workers pick up boards and load them into machines.

Many traditional systems have already been revolutionised such as with automatic tool and cutter grinders, automatic face grinders and automated infeed and outfeed material transfers systems which optimise resource allocation and ultimately improve outputs and/or quality.

If you’re interested in discussing how optimising or automating your operation can improve efficiencies, have a chat to your Stirling Technical Sales Manager.

How do you know if you’re suffering from burnout at work?

Mood swings, irritability, making mistakes at work, inability to concentrate, low mood, depression and anxiety are all signs of workplace burnout. Problems sleeping, frequent back pain, headache and stomach aches are some of its physical manifestations and must be addressed. As well as visiting your GP, discuss with your supervisor or employer strategies that could help not just with your situation, but across the board.

Fatigue management – physical and mental

How can you expect to run at full steam for 8, 9 or even 10 hours per day? Consider a change in routine, with fluctuations in levels of activity over each day. Bouts of bending, lifting, pushing and carrying can be countered with periods of less strenuous work.

  • Don’t work through breaks – Take time out for a sandwich, a coffee or a game of handball out in the yard. Sit and read the newspaper or go outside and absorb some sunshine.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures – In a hot, humid environment, seek regular respite out of the sun or in a cooler location. In extreme cold, be sure to rug up and avoid unnecessary exposure to damp.
  • Eat well and stay hydrated – Good nutrition is important in the fight against fatigue. Eat to your hunger levels, avoid sugary drinks and snacks, get plenty of protein and don’t let yourself get too hungry before eating.
  • Get adequate sleep – Never underestimate the value of quality sleep. It’s crucial to cognitive functioning, endurance, strength, energy levels and coping with stress.

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