Safety Tips: Control of Fatigue at Work

Fatigue is more than feeling tired and drowsy. In a work context, fatigue is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces a person’s ability to perform work safely and effectively.

It can occur because of prolonged or intense mental or physical activity, sleep loss and/or disruption of the internal body clock.

Signs of fatigue include:

  • tiredness even after sleep
  • reduced hand-eye coordination or slow reflexes
  • short term memory problems and an inability to concentrate
  • blurred vision or impaired visual perception
  • a need for extended sleep during days off work.

Effects of Fatigue

Fatigue at work can affect your

  • Alertness
  • Concentration
  • Judgement
  • Motor skills
  • Reflexes

These can lead to an increased risk of workplace accidents and near-miss incidents, endangering yourself at the workplace.

Preventing Workplace Fatigue

The best approach to preventing fatigue is having adequate rest or sleep. As fatigue is normally caused by a confluence of factors, it is necessary to recognize them to prevent the onset of fatigue. A combination of risk control measures will hence be more effective in managing workplace fatigue.   

Fatigue FactorControl Measure(s)
Dim work environmentProvide adequate lighting.
Hot working environmentProvide adequate ventilation.- Provide facilities for break.
Long working shift– Limit shift work to not more than 12 hours, including overtime.
– Ensure adequate staffing on a shift.
Sustained mentally demanding workSchedule complex tasks during the day.
Monotonous work e.g. standing in a fixed position for extended time periodsInclude activity breaks e.g. simple stretching exercises of limbs and body.

Managing fatigue offers measurable benefits and return on investment, including:

  • increased productivity
  • healthier shift patterns
  • increased employee motivation
  • optimised alertness and decision making
  • assurance of compliance with relevant H&S regulations
  • staff buy-in to managing fatigue on- and offline
  • reduced likelihood of fatigue-induced human error leading to accidents

At RCL Safety Centre this training is also available in different Nigerian languages like PIDGIN,YORUBA,HAUSA AND IGBO

Our company (RCL Safety Centre) is an indigenous company dedicated to Health, Safety and Environment Training and Services.

We are technical partners of the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) as well as approved training partners of most major International Occupational Safety and Health organizations like NEBOSH, and corporate members of ISPON (Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria) with thousands of personnel trained in various areas till date.

For more information visit our website:

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Contact us on: 08099700070, 09057666623 or 08164363532

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