Fatigue is an acute or on-going state of tiredness that requires sleep or rest for recovery.
Fatigue is associated with health and safety risks in the workplace, as it affects the physical and mental capacities required for the performance of work and is associated with increased workplace incidents. Through the build-up of sleep debt, fatigue can result in errors of judgement that may lead to injury or death. Work-related fatigue affects not only the workers’ health and safety, but the health and safety of others as well.
Both physical and mental fatigue can create risks to health and safety due to a reduced ability to undertake tasks. Physical tasks like operating a chainsaw for long periods and mental tasks such as hazard awareness and following safe working procedures are some examples of the activities that can be affected by fatigue.