According to NIOSH, worker fatigue is associated with nonstandard schedules—such as night shifts—and extended hours, as well as stress, physically and mentally demanding tasks, and working in hot environments. Fatigue can result in slower reaction times, affect cognition and sleep, and contribute to numerous negative health effects, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and psychological disorders. Investigations have found that worker fatigue has been a contributing factor to high-profile disasters, including the Three Mile Island and Exxon Valdez accidents.
The NIOSH Center for Work and Fatigue Research was created to expand the existing literature on worker fatigue and develop practical solutions. For more information, refer to the NIOSH fatigue topic page and the Center for Work and Fatigue Research webpage.
Related: Read “COVID-19 and Worker Fatigue” in the November 2020 Synergist.