Introduction to Worker Fatigue

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Fatigue is more than simply feeling tired; it is an overwhelming and ongoing state of mental and/or physical exhaustion. Common symptoms of fatigue often include: falling asleep, long blinks, difficulty keeping eyes open, frequent yawning and staring blankly.

Many construction workers are at an increased risk from fatigue due to the nature of the working conditions, shift patterns and types of labour involved in the industry. In fact, the UK construction industry has one of the highest rates of psychosocial health problems of all industries, including fatigue and burnout.

This is a significant issue, as fatigue has the potential to severely affect physical and cognitive abilities. The inability to work safely can increase the likelihood of workplace accidents, injuries and fatalities. Therefore, it is vital that the construction industry recognises the dangers associated with fatigue, its causes and where possible, how to prevent or minimise it.