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
- Night shift work and cancer: What does it mean for workers?
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine / Sleep Research Society Guiding Principles for Determining Work Shift Duration and Addressing Effectsexternal icon
- NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors, Workplace Fatigue Mini-Symposium
- National Institute of Mental Health | Meeting on Sleep and Suicide Prevention: Advancing Innovation and Intervention
- WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury, 2000-2016external icon
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