How to Identify & Reduce Worker Fatigue in Construction - Kwant

August 3, 2023
6 min
How to Identify & Reduce Worker Fatigue in Construction - Kwant

Construction involves a lot of physical effort and the environment can be rough. When our workforce becomes tired or injured, performance drops and safety risks rise.

The backbone of the nation is our construction workforce and we need to be aware of the physical and mental signs. Therefore it is the job of the employer to take care of their workforce in different ways.

What is workplace fatigue?

Fatigue is a state of mental or physical exhaustion. One may feel burned out, or tired and have no energy. Fatigue in construction is an issue that is very hard to measure and becomes a great hazard for safety and health.

Common signs of on-site worker fatigue: 

  • Inability to concentrate and focus
  • Slowing reaction times and reflexes
  • Loss of stamina and strength
  • Nodding off at work
  • Difficulty communicating and collaborating
  • Needing frequent breaks
  • Blurry vision 
  • Declining work productivity
  • Feeling lightheaded and having frequent headaches
  • Showing poor decision-making and judgment
  • Less motivated, engaged, and committed to everyday work
  • Struggling to remember work-related things
  • Sick days tend to increase
  • Less social

Main causes of workplace fatigue


Why is it hard to manage fatigue?

There are many reasons why it is very hard to manage fatigue. Surveys can be incorrect, or construction workers can be reluctant to express their feelings.

Another reason can be long work hours in demanding environments. It is imperative to understand the person behind the tool and their experience in high demand environments.

What is fatigue management?

Fatigue management is an act of addressing and managing fatigue through methods, programs, and tactics. If done correctly, fatigue management can be very effective and beneficial for both the employee and employer. 

Benefits of fatigue management:

  • Drastically improves safety (short term + long term)
  • Improves productivity
  • Improves quality of schedules
  • Improves worker morale 
  • Helps employers comply with regulations

Ways to manage fatigue:

  • Try to establish clear policies and procedures for handling fatigue
  • Use shift scheduling of workers to avoid fatigue
  • Using on-site wearable technology 
  • Make realistic deadlines and provide breaks on-site
  • Create supportive work environments for everyone
  • Help train and educate employees on risks of fatigue
  • Encourage workers to help others when noticing fatigue
  • Provide more resources for workers on-site
  • Make fatigue management a priority
  • Consistently monitor fatigue levels and understand who is at risk

Using schedules to flag when workers reach the fatigue threshold

At the end of the day, we need to support our workforce and help avoid fatigue so workers can build safely and be more productive. One effective method in managing fatigue is by using a scheduling to flag when workers reach their fatigue threshold.

Companies like Kwant help align general contractors to reach their goals by helping identify when their workforce or subcontractors violate terms or need water breaks. 

To understand fatigue thresholds, every industry has their level. For construction on data centers, their fatigue threshold may be 6 continuous days of work and 60 hours in a week spent on the job. 

When utilizing scheduling within the Kwant platform, many owners and general contractors are able to manage and gauge the fatigue of workers. Construction companies are able to flag any worker across multiple jobsites and compare schedules to see when there may be shift change or break.

For example, many construction companies and their employees have long work hours in tough environments, so shift scheduling is important.

Many construction companies struggle with knowing who is on-site today vs yesterday vs last month and when you have thousands of workers with different hours, it can be very difficult to gauge if a worker is fatigued. 

Top scheduling software benefits for fatigue management:

  • Allows for real-time communication and collaboration
  • Helps plan more efficient work schedules
  • Automates scheduling information
  • Allows worker time-tracking capabilities
  • Ensures sufficient workers are on site 
  • Supports budgeting and resource management
  • Allows for easier file sharing 

Want to learn more about using a Kwant to support fatigue management?

Reach out today and set up a free demo. See how easy it is to get started.

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