About Fatigue and Work

At a glance

  • Fatigue can affect anyone and be related to many work-related factors.
  • Work-related fatigue can affect worker safety and health.
  • Employers and workers should work together to reduce fatigue risks and manage fatigue.
Group of workers at night


In workplace settings, fatigue is commonly associated with nonstandard schedules which disrupt or shorten sleep. Examples of nonstandard schedules include night shift work and extended work hours.

Fatigue can also be associated with other workplace factors, such as:

  • Stress
  • Physically or mentally demanding tasks
  • Working in hot environments

It can stem from several different factors and its effects extend beyond sleepiness.

Fatigue can:

  • Slow down reaction times
  • Reduce attention or concentration
  • Limit short-term memory
  • Impair judgment

High levels of fatigue can affect any worker in any job. It has serious consequences for worker safety and health.

To keep workers safe and healthy, employers should:

  • Learn the risks for fatigue-related events.
  • Identify the sources of fatigue.
  • Use strategies to prevent and manage fatigue.

What CDC is doing

Learn more about the NIOSH Center for Work and Fatigue Research.

Online worker fatigue training

Training for Nurses on Shiftwork and Long Work Hours

Educates nurses and their managers about:

  • Health and safety risks associated with shift work and long work hours
  • Related workplace fatigue issues
  • Strategies to reduce these risks

Fatigue Prevention Training for Pilots: A Training Program for Commercial Pilots in Alaska

A fatigue prevention training for commercial pilots. This training can be used by:

  • Individual pilots (commercial or non-commercial)
  • Companies in their initial or recurrent training programs for pilots