Many workplace accidents occur every year due to the actions of tired or overworked employees—and on a construction site, simple errors caused by inadequate rest can have dire consequences. Worker fatigue increases the risk of occupational injuries, illnesses, and even mental health disorders—and in some cases, it can form the basis of a construction injury case.

Fatigued Construction Worker on a Job Site Hofmann & Schweitzer

Risks of Fatigue in the Construction Industry

Construction work can be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. With every missed hour of rest, an employee can suffer decreased alertness, lack of concentration, loss of dexterity, and impaired body movements. Fatigue can lead to lifting and bending injuries, improper use of machinery, vehicle crashes on the job, and other preventable accidents.

Causes of Construction Workers Suffering Physical and Mental Fatigue 

Working Overtime 

The risk of fatigue-related accidents increases with the number of hours worked per week. Over time, the stress of extended work hours may cause serious illnesses, including heart disease, digestive problems, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, and obesity.

Inadequate Breaks 

Fatigue is the body’s way of asking for a break, and that break might not always be provided. Workers who do not take meal breaks or rest between demanding tasks are more likely to injure themselves as well as a nearby co-worker.

Night Work 

Irregular shifts (such as evening and overnights) force the body to be awake at a time that it is programmed for sleeping. This disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm makes the risk of accidents and injuries much higher for night workers than those on day shifts.

Lack of Supervision 

In New York, contractors can be held liable for injuries caused by an unsafe working environment, such as failure to oversee work, appoint competent project managers, or ensure that employees work in teams to prevent drowsiness accidents.

Lack of Training 

Property owners and contractors are required to implement safety measures to limit exposure to potential hazards. Workers should be trained to identify signs of drowsiness, adhere to mandatory shift breaks, and educate workers on best practices to reduce fatigue on the job.

Have You Been Injured While Working On A Construction Site?

If you've been hurt while working at your construction job you need to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our New York City law office directly at 212.465.8840 to schedule your free consultation.

You can also read through our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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