Understaffing by airline companies may cause fatigue and burnout among their workers. To help avoid this, airline companies must take preventative measures to make sure their employees can work effectively.
Failure to do so could result in accidents and possible legal and regulatory risks.
Fatigue leads to legal risks
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has rules to prevent pilots and flight attendants from being overworked to avoid accidents. If a tired employee causes an accident or injury, passengers and crew may sue the airline for negligence.
Plus, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) assesses every accident and suggests ways to prevent them from happening again.
Causes of employee fatigue
A recent report by CBS News revealed a staffing shortage in the aviation industry that has led to unrealistic employee scheduling practices. As a result, employees may experience issues such as:
- Sleep loss
- Extended time awake
- Excessive workload
If these issues continue, it may lead to unproductivity and unresponsiveness from employees.
Fatigue management practices
To lessen risks, the FAA highlighted the importance for airline companies to address worker fatigue. They recommend companies put in place fatigue management and scheduling practices, such as:
- Prioritizing work-life balance by minimizing overtime
- Implementing rest strategies
- Allowing unplanned absences
Airlines may sometimes promote medical treatment to prevent employees from coming to work tired.
Fatigued airline employees are more likely to make mistakes or cause accidents. This may result in legal liability and financial damages for the airline company. Airline companies must follow the rules related to avoiding fatigue to ensure safety.