How Fatigue Can Affect Job Site Safety

On building sites of all sizes, fatigue is a common factor in many accidents and injuries. It is essential for all workers on a site to be well rested and to not be impacted by fatigue, no matter what their role in the project. At Scaffold Resource, we offer engineering and project management consultancy services, and safety is at the forefront of what we do. Could fatigue be compromising the safety of your job site? Here is a closer look at some of the risks associated with fatigue and what you can do about it.

 

How does fatigue cause workplace safety issues?

According to the National Safety Council, driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving while impaired. Someone who loses two hours of sleep has similar symptoms as someone who has had three beers. On the job site, your workers need the same kind of attentiveness that they do to drive safely, and fatigue stands in the way of that. You wouldn’t let workers perform any tasks on your project if they were intoxicated. However, allowing them to do so while they are fatigued can have similar outcomes caused by slow reaction times, poor decision making, and lack of attention to detail.

 

What are some symptoms of workplace fatigue?

There are safety devices that can be installed in construction equipment that will alert the operator of fatigue symptoms. In most cases, though, it’s up to the people working on the site to be vigilant about potential signs of fatigue, like difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headaches, and slow response times.

 

How can the risk of fatigue-related incidents be reduced?

On construction sites, creating a culture that puts safety first is essential. This includes a culture in which workers are encouraged to self-report when they feel too fatigued to function safely in their roles and in which workers are not pushed to work overtime hours in order to complete a project. Setting realistic project timelines will also help.

 

Do you have a project in need of engineering or management advice? Scaffold Resource can assist through all of the stages of your project, as well as provide shoring and scaffolding rentals in Washington, D.C. To learn more, call us at (301) 924-7223.