Construction worker sleep deprivation and its effects on personal safety


Powell, R. and Copping, A., 2010. Construction worker sleep deprivation and its effects on personal safety. In: Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2010: Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference. , pp. 203-211.

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Sleep deprivation contributes to fatigue which can have a profound effect on an individual's wellbeing, work performance and safety. To investigate this phenomenon, an initial study was conducted on a sample of construction workers on a large construction project in Vancouver, Canada. This paper reports on the results from the workers wearing an actigraph 24-hours per day for a full week to precisely measure their sleep and rest. The results enabled sleep efficiency and mental effectiveness levels to be determined by correlating them to Blood Alcohol Concentration levels. The study concluded that there was some degree of fatigue-impairment with a resulting decrement in performance of the workers studied which increased the risk of accidents and lost productivity. A further fatigue awareness survey amongst construction professionals revealed that fatigue impairment is viewed as a problem, and that fatigue-impaired workers, who were impaired to the same extent as workers on illicit drugs or alcohol, somehow performed better and were less of a concern in the workplace. The paper concludes that there is currently a missmatch between the perceived threat from sleep deprivation and its potential resulting consequences and that further research is needed into how fatigue-factors should be measured and managed on construction projects.


Item Type Book Sections
CreatorsPowell, R.and Copping, A.
DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Architecture & Civil Engineering
Research CentresCentre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA)
ID Code30400
Additional Information26th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2010; Leeds; 6-8 September 2010.


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