Work and Fatigue
Work and Fatigue
Fatigue has been broadly described as “a feeling of weariness, tiredness or lack of energy”.1 In workplace settings, it is commonly associated with nonstandard schedules, such as night shift work and extended work hours, which disrupt or shorten sleep. Fatigue can also be associated with other workplace factors such as stress, physically or mentally demanding tasks, or working in hot environments. It can stem from a number of different factors and its effects extend beyond sleepiness. Fatigue can slow down reaction times, reduce attention or concentration, limit short-term memory and impair judgement.
High levels of fatigue can affect any worker in any occupation or industry with serious consequences for worker safety and health. Learning the risks for fatigue-related events, identifying the sources of fatigue, and using strategies to manage fatigue will help keep workers safe and healthy.
1 A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Fatigue; [reviewed 2019 Apr 16; cited 2020 Dec 12]; Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003088.htmexternal icon
- World Health Organization / International Labour Organization Global Burden of Disease Study: Long work hours and heart diseaseexternal icon
- National Toxicology Program Review of Shift Work at Night, Light at Night, and Circadian Disruptionexternal icon
- COVID-19 Fact Sheet: What Workers and Employers Can Do to Manage Workplace Fatigue during COVID-19
- Science Blog: The Who, What, How and When of Implementing Fatigue Monitoring and Detection Technologies
- Science Blog: Improve Sleep: Tips to Improve Your Sleep When Times Are Tough
- Science Blog: COVID-19 and Workplace Fatigue: Lessons Learned and Mitigation Strategies
- Science Blog: Choosing the “Right” Fatigue Monitoring and Detection Technology
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