Fatigue refers to mental or physical exhaustion that stops a person from being able to function normally.
Fatigue is more than simply feeling tired or drowsy. It is caused by prolonged periods of physical and/or mental exertion without enough time to rest and recover.
Fatigue is generally associated with:
- spending long periods of time awake
- having an inadequate amount and/or quality of sleep over an extended period.
Fatigue can significantly affect an individual’s capacity to function. Its side-effects include decreased performance and productivity, and increased potential for errors of judgement and injuries to occur.
Fatigue management is a responsibility that must be shared between persons controlling work and workers - it involves factors that occur both in and outside of the workplace.
If you are experiencing fatigue it is important to identify the factors that are contributing to the fatigue, discuss the issue with your employer, make changes as required (including sleeping patterns, workload, roster and lifestyle behaviours), and seek professional help if necessary.