Fatigue is a major factor in many accidents on farms.

Extended working hours at calving and lambing time and at harvest time increase the risk of fatigue.

Farm fatality figures from 2014 show busy periods are the most dangerous – almost half of fatalities occurred in May, August and September.

One study found fatigue-related impairment is four times more likely to result in work-related incidents than being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Inadequate rest between shifts, working very hard or for too long, disruption of the body clock by shift work, having poor quality or broken sleep, adverse weather, noise and vibration can all result in fatigue.

People are poor judges of their own level of fatigue.

Manage the risks of fatigue:

  • Get extra, experienced help during the busy periods of the year
  • Stay hydrated and don’t skip meals 
  • Ensure adequate sleep between shifts

Stimulants like strong coffee have only short-term effects in improving your concentration or awareness.

The only cure for fatigue is proper rest.