The risk of fatigue in construction

The construction industry is inherently hazardous, due to factors such as height, inclement weather, mobile equipment and demanding schedules. Throw in a construction worker whose performance is impaired due to fatigue, and it could easily spell a recipe for disaster.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workers in the construction sector suffered 985 fatalities from injuries in 2015. In comparison, those in the mining sector suffered 120. Similarly, the 2015 rate of non-fatal injuries resulting in days away from work was higher in construction than it was in mining, as shown in the table below.

There is sufficient scientific evidence linking workers’ fatigue to occupational safety. However, not a lot is known about this relationship within the construction industry. A 2010 study on construction workers found that there is currently a mismatch between the perceived threat from sleep deprivation and its potential resulting consequences.

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