Construction work is very demanding. It requires strength, stamina, coordination, and concentration. Construction workers have to be alert at all times to prevent accidents that could harm themselves and others.
When construction workers get fatigued, accidents are more likely to occur. To help ensure a safe workplace for everyone, foremen, managers, contractors, and construction company owners must take active measures to reduce worker fatigue.
What Causes Construction Worker Fatigue?
Fatigue is an extended feeling of exhaustion, weariness, and overall lack of energy. Everybody gets tired from time to time, especially people performing demanding physical tasks—but fatigue doesn’t come and go. Instead, it lasts for a whole shift or even longer.
Frequent causes of worker fatigue include:
- Lack of adequate rest breaks
- Night work
- Irregular shifts
- Lack of supervision
- Improper training
- Extended work hours
- Increased workload
- Physically demanding tasks
- Working outside in warm or hot weather
- Inadequate tools and equipment
- Poor task management by supervisors
The High Cost of Worker Fatigue
Bad things happen when construction workers are fatigued. That’s why supervisors must monitor workers and do everything they can to promote safety and wellness on the job site.
Construction workers use a lot of heavy machinery, and it’s crucial for workers to be fully engaged and energetic enough to avoid dangerous mishaps. Construction workers in New York City are often called upon to work on high-rise buildings, which increases the risk of harmful accidents.
Fatigue harms productivity and makes workers more likely to suffer a debilitating injury. Accidents frequently result from exhaustion, lack of concentration, and other symptoms of fatigue.
The negative consequences of construction worker fatigue include:
- Falling equipment
- Vehicle crashes
- Power tool accidents
How to Prevent Worker Fatigue
Supervisors will want to do everything they can to reduce worker fatigue. This includes providing regular breaks, especially in the summertime when the temperature is high. It’s also essential to make sure workers have fresh water, as mandated by OSHA.
Anything managers and foremen can do to reduce workload will help prevent fatigue. You don’t want to schedule too many challenging tasks on the same day. It’s better to spread them out throughout the week when possible.
Find creative ways to allow power tools to reduce the workers’ burden. Why make workers lift, carry, dig, and cut objects when you can use forklifts, backhoes, and power saws instead?
Regular training sessions demonstrating efficient practices and safe lifting techniques will reduce fatigue and help prevent injuries. There are several strategies employers can use to reduce worker fatigue:
- Encourage the use of labor-saving devices.
- Schedule fewer night shifts.
- Provide sensible scheduling and workload management.
- Promote safe work habits.
- Provide regular breaks for food, rest, and drink.
- Develop a fatigue management plan.
- Provide consistent shift scheduling.
Signs of Worker Fatigue
Things go a lot more smoothly on construction sites when managers know their workers and maintain open lines of communication. Good supervisors keep an eye on their employees and aren’t afraid to tell workers to slow down.
Signs of worker fatigue to watch out for on a construction site include:
- Sore muscles
- Slow reflexes
- Blurred vision
- Short-term memory problems
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Lack of energy
- Reduced reaction time
- Difficulty making decisions
Were You Injured on a New York Construction Site?
The experienced NY construction site accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP have won over a billion dollars in settlements and lawsuits for our clients. We help injured construction workers get the compensation they deserve.
Our New York City personal injury attorneys have been recognized by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Super Lawyers Magazine for providing excellent service to our clients. We’ll find the best strategy to get the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses after a construction site injury.
Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to learn more about your legal options.