Fatigue in the Workplace – A Safety Hazard


Fatigue is a growing problem affecting the workforce – research estimates that 13% of workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue.

A new report from the National Safety Council, Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes and Consequences of Employee Fatigue, breaks down a probability-based survey of more than 2,000 working adults and their experience with fatigue. The report shows that 97% of workers have at least one workplace fatigue risk factor, while more than 80% have more than one risk factor. When multiple risk factors are present, the potential for injuries on the job increases.

Fatigue can have detrimental effects on a person’s health and safety both on and off the job. It is a problem that has, in the past, gone largely unaddressed.

This report is the first in a series of reports to be released by NSC on the prevalence of fatigue in the American workforce. It can be used as a tool to educate employers on this critical safety issue.

On March 20-23, 2017, thirteen participants from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attended the 10th International Conference on Managing Fatigue, in San Diego, California. This year’s conference was the first held in the U.S. since 2009, and was attended by over 260 scientists and industry experts from around the world.

The “Managing Fatigue” conference series, established in 1993, is a continuing forum for research updates and discussions within the fatigue management community. The theme of this year’s conference was “Managing Fatigue to Improve Safety, Wellness, and Effectiveness.” While historically focusing on fatigue in the transportation sector, this evolving series included participants from a variety of sectors this year including natural resources, mining, healthcare, and the military.

While historically focusing on fatigue in the transportation sector, this evolving series included participants from a variety of sectors this year including natural resources, mining, healthcare, and the military.

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