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Fatigued workm8tes are more likely to be stressed and get injured.

Due to the nature of your work - your workm8tes are at a high risk of fatigue.

Shiftwork, long work hours, highly demanding jobs, and wearing PPE all increase the risk of fatigue.

Two older men grinding metal

Fatigue is more than being a bit tired at the end of the day.

It is normal to feel tired or drowsy after periods of prolonged effort or work.

Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness, weakness or exhaustion that can be physical, mental, or emotional or a combination of all of these. It prevents workers from functioning safely and is not necessarily something that can be fixed by a couple of good nights’ sleep.

Work has a large part to do with fatigue, but it can also be caused by a number of factors, such as medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and stress.

The common work-related factors in manufacturing that increase worker fatigue are:

  • shift and night work

  • travel

  • working with hazardous materials

  • wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • operating heaving machinery

  • exceptionally hot, cold or noisy environments

  • isolated work or working in remote locations

  • repetitive or monotonous tasks, and

  • work that is highly physically or mentally demanding.

Fatigue is dangerous – it is a known risk factor in vehicle and workplace accidents.

It harms concentration, hand-eye coordination, judgement and performance.

Increases the risk of musculoskeletal issues, headaches, and slips, trips and falls.

It increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, burnout, and some cancers.

Working over 55 hours per week increases the likelihood of death from stroke by 35% and ischaemic heart disease by 17%.

Increases near misses, incidents and injuries.

This is a significant issue when working with hazardous materials.

Being awake for 20 hours impairs performance to the same level as having a 0.1 blood alcohol level. This twice the legal driving blood alcohol driving limit of 0.05.

Signs of fatigue include:
  • tiredness even after sleep

  • reduced hand-eye coordination or slow reflexes

  • short-term memory problems

  • inability to concentrate

  • blurred or impaired vision

  • a need for extended sleep during days off and weekends

Find out more about fatigue and reduce the risk of worker stress and injury with these actions and mitigations.

Download the fatigue action checklist

Take action against the impact of Fatigue
Download PDF • 158KB

For further information on how to minimise the impact of workm8te fatigue, see WorkSafe Victoria's guide on work-related fatigue for employers.

Know your risks & take action

​Learn more about the most common sources of work-related fatigue in your workm8tes, the causes and what to do about it.


Long hours

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Our research shows shiftwork to be one of the highest causes of workplace stress. Learn how shiftwork can be a risk factor for work-related fatigue.

Long hours and demanding work are ok when it's only a couple of busy days, but not when it becomes the norm.

Read more about the effect of long hours and demanding work on work-related fatigue.

Workm8tes who wear PPE are at an increased risk of fatigue and stress.

Find out how to limit the impact of PPE on work-related fatigue.


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