There is no single scientific definition of fatigue but it is accepted that fatigue is generally a feeling of extreme tiredness and being unable to perform work effectively. It is a state of impairment that can result from prolonged working, heavy workload, insufficient rest and inadequate sleep, and can include mental and /or physical elements.

Fatigue has been identified as a significant risk throughout the Rail Industry, and investigations have found that fatigue is a re-occurring theme in many of our accidents, incidents and close calls. However due to potential work pressures, and a lack of awareness reports of fatigue are low and therefore the scale of the problem is difficult to determine.

Within Network Rail work is taking place to measure and reduce fatigue. Which includes

  • to recognise causes and signs of fatigue,
  • the affect that fatigue has on individuals such as their ability to drive, make decisions and on mental wellbeing,
  • monitoring of working hours.

Fatigue Awareness Toolkit

We have created a series of films to raise awareness and highlight 3 key areas around Fatigue. These can be accessed in the attachment Section. Although created for Network Rail staff, please feel free to use as Good practice.

Fatigue General Awareness- this film provides an awareness of fatigue, signs and causes. Giving a general introduction to the subject. Target Audience is for all staff.

Fatigue Awareness for (Network Rail) Managers- this film provides additional guidance for Network Rail line managers, to recognise and manage fatigue in their staff.. nb  some of the guidance shown in film refers to NR internal procedures/processes.

Fatigue Awareness for Drivers- this film provides additional guidance for staff that drive on behalf of Network Rail. nb  some of the guidance shown in film refers to NR internal procedures/processes.


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