Check out our series of short videos on how to recognise and manage fatigue in the workplace.

Ever woken up in the morning before work and feel like you could really do with another hour of sleep? You may be experiencing fatigue.

Fatigue is the feeling of being tired all the time, even after you have rested. Sometimes, fatigue is your body’s way of saying “slow down”.

There are different types of fatigue, both physical and mental, and it can affect your ability to stay healthy and safe at work. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes that may lead to either yourself or a workmate getting injured. This is because our minds find it harder to concentrate, and our reactions are much slower, when we’re fatigued.

There are lots of ways to prevent fatigue including getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and taking regular breaks.

To find out more about fatigue and ways to prevent it watch the videos below. 

Adults generally need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be able to function safely during the day. If you’re constantly feeling tired even after a nights rest you may be experiencing fatigue. Things like long work hours and physically and mentally demanding tasks can cause fatigue, and increase the time it takes for you to recover. Going to bed a little earlier and taking steps to get a good night’s sleep can make all the difference.

Drinking plenty of water during your workday will help you to stay hydrated. Adults should drink at least two litres of water a day. Staying hydrated is important because it keeps you alert and focussed on your daily tasks. It also stops the body from becoming easily fatigued from physically or mentally draining tasks.

Taking regular breaks can help you avoid feeling worn out at the end of the day. Breaks allow you to eat, stay hydrated and catch up with your workmates, friends or family - which all helps fight fatigue. Stopping for regular breaks throughout the day also makes you more productive and makes it easier to concentrate on the task at hand.

Before doing any overtime at work, have a think about how much you are already doing and whether putting extra pressure on yourself may lead to fatigue. Our minds and bodies find it harder to concentrate and perform tasks when we are tired, which may lead to either yourself or a workmate getting injured.

Fatigue is a factor in too many vehicle crashes. If you’re feeling tired, don’t drive – instead, have a look at other options to get to work such as public transport, carpooling or walking. Let your manager know if you are too tired to drive or work safely.