Extreme Fatigue Causing Worker Concerns

Extreme Fatigue

A new research study conducted by Westfield Health has raised new concerns for employers on the impact of extreme fatigue being experienced by workers.

The findings suggest that extreme fatigue and tiredness are affecting the performance and mental health of workers. Two alarming statistics from the study suggest that one in 10 working Brits have admitted to taking a nap whilst at work, with over a third stating that low fatigue and tiredness is reducing their mental wellbeing overall. And workers may not be communicating these issues with their manager or employer, as 86% of those asked said they didn’t feel confident in approaching their line manager on how extreme fatigue is affecting their work performance.

Further Study Findings

In terms of productivity, almost 46% admitted to turning up to their place of employment feeling too tired to be productive. Following on from this, 37% then commented that they would find themselves becoming more forgetful and making avoidable errors as a result of extreme fatigue and tiredness. The research states that the pandemic of extreme fatigue has had its biggest impact on the 16-24 year old age range, with men rather than women being more likely to try to take a nap at work.

For high risk industries such as construction and manufacturing, these figures make for worrying review. Extreme fatigue and tiredness can become even more dangerous due to machinery being involved, very often leading to accidents in the workplace. Of those surveyed, 23% of workers in the construction industry and 28% from the manufacturing industry admitted to drifting off to sleep whilst at work. In more serious situations, 30% claim to have had an accident, made a serious error or experienced high levels of stress just from extreme fatigue alone.

Most Common Effects of Extreme Fatigue

Using a ranking system based off survey participant feedback, it reveals:

  • 37% say they will make errors and become forgetful when fatigued.
  • 30% will become short tempered/hostile towards friends and colleagues when tired.
  • 22% find themselves drifting off to sleep in the workplace when experiencing fatigue.
  • 13% confess to drifting off whilst in control of a car or vehicle if experiencing extreme fatigue.

Reflecting on the results, Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health comments:

“Its extremely worrying to see how fatigue is impacting the working population. It’s not just being overworked and lack of sleep that can cause us to feel fatigued. Extreme tiredness happens as a result of a number of factors including mental health and diet.”

Solving the Fatigue Issue

With one in six employees believing that their employer should be doing more reduce the risk of accidents and mistakes at work due to stress, the issue of extreme fatigue has become a vital one to address. 86% of workers when asked are under the impression that both their co-workers and management are not aware of the more dangerous consequences that extreme fatigue and tiredness can have in the workplace.

Holmes provides his summarized thoughts on how employers must work to tackle the issues surrounding tiredness and fatigue, explaining:

“Fatigue and tiredness is an issue that employers and particularly line managers should not overlook. Employers need to ensure there are clear health and safety regulations in place around fatigue, especially in industries that require high levels of concentration.”

He continues: “The importance of rest time both at work and at home should be taken seriously and encouraged by employers, and fatigue should be considered just as important as any other physical injury or illness.

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Sam Rose

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