Fatigue is a state of physical and mental exhaustion, and can lead to an decrease in productivity overall.  However, in construction jobs this can be dangerous, and the inability to concentrate can cause accidents or injuries.  These are a few of the reasons for this, and some ways to prevent fatigue in construction in order to keep people safe and reduce risks.

 

Some of the causes of fatigue can include:

  • Extended hours – While a lot of people work around 40 hours a week, the seasonal nature of construction work can lead to construction workers spending spring and summer working more in order to make up for lost income over the winter.  Additionally, when workers live relatively far from the job site and have to commute to and from their work day, their overall worktime is longer, which can add to fatigue.
  • Environment – Environmental elements can have an effect on workers.  Noise on the jobsite, working in extreme temperatures, inhaling hazardous fumes, and vibration from tools can all add extra stress to the body, increasing the level of fatigue workers experience.
  • Demanding work – Due to the nature of working in construction, the physically and mentally demanding elements of work can have an affect on employees.  Things like lifting/moving heavy things and operating equipment causes physical strain on the body.  Meanwhile, the level of concentration needed when using equipment and tools causes mental exhaustion.
  • Unhealthy life choices – Work isn’t the only thing that can cause fatigue, and unhealthy life choices can certainly make it worse.  If workers are choosing to smoke, using drugs or alcohol, sleep poorly and eat badly, it can drain your body of the energy it needs, making it harder to function in day to day life.

 

How to prevent fatigue in construction:

  • Wellness – A wellness program is a great way to encourage healthy habits in your employees, which will in turn combat fatigue.  These programs can include health assessments, aid for quitting smoking, and developing better diet and exercise habits.  Some of the best ways that wellness programs can help is by providing support, offering healthy food alternatives or subsidising gym memberships for workers.  Ultimately, the investment you make into employee wellness will benefit you through increased productivity and better quality work.
  • Workload management – By managing the workload and expectations placed on employees, employers can help to prevent fatigue.  This benefits employers by allowing them to avoid insurance claims from accidents caused by unrealistic schedules and long hours.  Workers should be encouraged to take breaks when necessary, and overtime should be accounted for and monitored.
  • Positivity – These things will allow for a more positive work culture where employees feel that they can communicate with managers about issues they may be facing.  A judgement-free way to share information which results in fatigue will increase productivity through a commitment to safety.

 

Productivity levels in construction are dependent on employees being able to perform effectively and efficiently.  Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of risks in the industry, and will decrease productivity while increasing accidents.  These ways to prevent fatigue in construction are a great thing to implement into your company, which will benefit you in the long run.  For more blogs related to construction, check out the rest of our Tidi-Blog.