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Rebuild companies to focus on worker fatigue
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Rebuild companies to focus on worker fatigue

28 July 2014

With fatigue identified as a major issue among construction companies in the rebuild, more than 200 people will come together this week to learn more about how it can affect site safety.

WorkSafe New Zealand is hosting a half-day fatigue and impairment in construction forum in Christchurch on Thursday 31 July, with presenters from across Australia and New Zealand.

“Construction work involves high-risk activities which means workers need to be physically and mentally alert,” says WorkSafe’s Canterbury Rebuild Health and Safety Programme Director, Kathryn Heiler.

“We know that fatigue and impairment reduces alertness and this can lead to errors and an increase in workplace accidents and injuries,” says Ms Heiler.

“This means fatigue is a potential risk for all construction workers, and something employers and employees have a responsibility to manage.”

Results from the Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter’s self-awareness tool, which nearly 70 companies have completed, show many construction organisations have indicated they need more support on fatigue management.

“The results have given us unique insight into where construction companies feel they’re doing well, and where they need more help. This is why we’ve brought experts together to provide some practical examples of what they can do when it comes to managing fatigue on site,” Ms Heiler says.

“Employers should be developing a fatigue management policy which could include areas such as managing work schedules, sleep, environmental conditions and emotional wellbeing.”

Presenters include Delwyn Bartlett from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Matthew Beattie from Instep Limited, as well as representatives from Lane Neave, Naylor Love, Downer, and the Council of Trade Unions.



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