It was interesting to come across an article on watoday.com.au that shows more than 300 Western Australian police officers are working second jobs to supplement their income.
While the article focuses on concerns such as conflict of interests with being a police officer, Ie. working in the horse racing industry, the article barely touches on the effect that fatigue could have because of longer working hours.
While there is obviously a concern about police driving while fatigued due to working a second job, there are more situations that need to be considered.
Will a police officer who has just finished his or her part-time shift and is now on the beat be able to think clearly in a situation that requires drawing their weapon? Will they even be easily able to have a difficult conversation with a colleague or member of the public in a sensitive, articulate and productive way?
There are some major issues here where fatigue could affect simple tasks, needless to say how it could affect more serious situations.
The costs of second jobs and even other responsibilities like parenting are often hidden from view. That is why fatigue has been called a 'silent killer'. While the solutions are obvious to my team and me, old habits die hard and it takes pro-active individuals and companies to reverse the tide.