Measuring and Predicting Fatigue in Construction: Empirical Field Study

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction

Publication Date



The increasing commitment to safety over the last two decades has contributed to a 67% decline in recordable incident rates. The rate of fatalities, however, has recently increased. Human factors, like fatigue, strongly relate to fatalities. The prediction of fatigue would allow for an early intervention, thus mitigating safety risk. The literature suggests several potential predictors of fatigue onset; however, each of these was mainly studied in isolation, in laboratory settings, and their predictive validity in the construction industry remains unknown. The authors hypothesized that a set of measurable factors can predict construction worker fatigue. A field study of 252 US construction workers was conducted in which potential predictors and fatigue levels were assessed, and the first fatigue predictive models for construction workers were created. The models presented low to medium predictivity, demonstrating that laboratory research and results obtained from other occupations do not directly apply to the construction industry. Furthermore, fatigue predictive models showed to differ among trades. These models will serve the industry to better manage fatigue; however, further research in this area is needed.


This article was originally published in Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Journal of Construction Engineering and Management