Sleep deprivation and its consequences in construction workers

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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, a 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 h/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. This allowed determination of increased risk due to inadequate sleep. It was found that workers fell well under recommended sleep requirement guidelines of 8-h sleep per night, which resulted in an increase in risk of accident of 9%. Although further work is needed to better understand the coping mechanisms of fatigue and how the resulting fatigue factor could be measured and managed, this study indicates that workers in the construction industry suffer decrements in performance and are at higher risk of accident at home and work solely due to inadequate sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1092
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • accidents
  • sleep deprivation
  • construction
  • impairment
  • fatigue
  • productivity


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