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Fatigued or Tired Construction Workers Can Cause Accidents

By Butler Prather LLP on May 30, 2024

Construction work is a physically and mentally demanding activity. It’s also very dangerous. It’s no surprise that construction worker fatigue exists. This arises from extended periods of physical labor without adequate rest, disrupting the body’s natural recovery process and causing reduced coordination and reaction time. When construction workers are fatigued, they can make mistakes that get people seriously injured or even killed.

To help employees remain safe and healthy, construction company owners and supervisors must take precautions to prevent fatigue. This includes sensible scheduling, using labor-saving devices as much as possible, and providing regular rest and water breaks, especially for people who are working outside in warm or hot weather.

Understanding the Causes of Construction Worker Fatigue

Fatigue in the construction industry is a complex issue with many contributing factors. Understanding these causes is crucial in developing strategies to mitigate fatigue-related risks in construction environments. Fatigue is more than just feeling tired — it’s profound exhaustion that diminishes a worker’s strength and mental capacity. Inadequate rest breaks during shifts lead to a gradual buildup of fatigue. Workers who do not receive sufficient downtime are unable to recover, and this can impair their performance.

Physically demanding tasks, especially when performed repetitively or in challenging weather conditions, significantly deplete a worker’s energy reserves. Increased workloads add to the stress and physical demands placed on workers, further exacerbating fatigue. Extended work hours are a common practice in the construction industry, and they take a significant toll on workers’ health and safety. Prolonged periods of work without adequate rest can lead to cumulative fatigue, which not only diminishes a worker’s physical capabilities but also impairs cognitive functions.

Night work also plays a significant role, disrupting natural day by day rhythms, leading to sleep disturbances. Irregular shifts create unpredictability, preventing workers from establishing a regular sleep pattern.

Inadequate tools and equipment also contribute to fatigue among construction workers. When workers are forced to use tools that are outdated, malfunctioning, or inappropriate for the task at hand, they must exert more effort and spend more time than is necessary completing a job.

Injuries and Accidents Caused by Construction Worker Fatigue

Fatigue in the construction industry inevitably leads to injuries and accidents. Common injuries include musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive strain or overexertion, which may become chronic and debilitating.

Falls from ladders, roofs, or scaffolding occur when fatigued workers miss a step or lose their balance. Slip and fall accidents are also more likely to result when workers are fatigued, especially in situations where supervisors fail to make sure that slippery surfaces caused by spills are promptly mopped up and tripping hazards are removed from walkways, scaffolding, and other work areas.

Injuries caused by falling equipment are more likely to happen when workers become fatigued. Accidents involving heavy machinery and crashes with cranes, trucks, forklifts, and other vehicles are other major concerns. Machine and vehicle operators who are fatigued may have slowed reaction times or impaired judgment, increasing the risk of potentially fatal incidents. Fatigue can also lead to mistakes in handling power tools, which may cause severe lacerations, puncture wounds, amputation, and fatalities.

Call Fatigue-Related Construction Accident Attorneys in Atlanta

For over 35 years, the experienced Atlanta injury attorneys at Butler Prather LLP have been helping injured construction workers get the money they need to care for themselves and their families. In fact, we’ve won over a billion dollars in payouts for our clients, with additional settlements and verdicts in over 30 states, nine verdicts that exceed $100 million, and more than 60 verdicts and settlements surpassing $10 million.

Call our firm at (706) 322-1990 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Atlanta construction accident lawyers experienced in tired construction worker accidents, and let’s get you the compensation you deserve.

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