Could Fatigue Be the Biggest Threat to Workplace Health and Safety?

One of the biggest threats to workplace health and safety in the construction industry in particular is fatigue.

Fatigue is one of those issues that if left unchecked can contribute to any number of problems and leave workers vulnerable to injury from one of the many hazards that are present on a construction site.

Two of the main reasons why construction workers in particular are prone to fatigue is because of the type of work that construction workers are exposed to, extremely dangerous, hazardous and strenuous manual work which can induce fatigue. Also construction projects have to adhere to deadlines which sometimes call for workers to engage in shift work, which can be confusing to the body’s internal clock, thereby causing fatigue.

Not only does construction work induce fatigue more than other industries but the consequences are even greater than they are for workers from other industries. Construction work involves hazardous activities and dangerous equipment which if operated while fatigued can result in devastating consequences.

The only effective treatment is sleep without which you will suffer mental and physical fatigue.Good nutrition and exercise also plays a role in overall health which affects fatigue management. Roster design and shift rotation can play an important role in fatigue management.

The key to managing fatigue successfully is ensuring that workers are given sufficient time between shifts and ensuring that  adults receive the seven to eight hours of continuous daily sleep as suggested.