Workplace fatigue is a major issue in Canada. Seven out of ten employees report that they’re constantly tired at work. This costs the Canadian economy $51 billion annually. Other than the economic concerns, fatigue also leads to great personal damage to employees.

Here are the 7 ways in which workplace fatigue can harm employees and the organization they work in.

Safety Issues and Injuries

Workplace fatigue can be debilitating and even leads to major safety lapses. Many industrial incidents were caused by workplace fatigue. The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters have both been linked to sleep deprivation and fatigue.

Impairment of Motor Skills

Fatigue impacts a person’s motor skills negatively. In fact, according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, fatigue can have the same effects on motor skills as being drunk. This is detrimental to work performance, especially in workplaces where physical exertion is required.

Poor Decision-Making and More Risks Taken

The human brain needs sleep to flush out toxins that inhibit critical thinking abilities. Without proper sleep, these toxins flood the mind and affect decision-making. A lot of important decisions need to be made in every meaningful job. A lack of sleep will lead to employees cutting corners and being unable to deal with complex problems.

Memory and Learning

The human brain needs rest and sleep to cement events in long-term memory. Without the regular formation of new memories, workers will be unable to learn anything new at the job.


Presenteeism is when the employees are physically present at the workplace but—because of fatigue—can’t contribute while they’re there. They’ll fall asleep at work and won’t be able to get anything done. Productivity is greatly affected in this way.


Long-term Effects

Even if fatigue doesn’t affect performance in the short-term, it does have detrimental long-term effects. It causes mental health problems, heart problems, diabetes, and cognitive declines that can reduce a person’s lifespan considerably. None of this is good for the employees or the company.

Effects on Career Progression

So far, we’ve established that fatigue has negative effects on worker performance and productivity. This will obviously affect the employee’s career progression. Every employee has the right to a fair opportunity to show their skills and talents. Fatigue takes this opportunity away from them.

Metro Safety Training

Metro Safety provides different kinds of training courses in Canada. We have designed special occupational first aid courses, mental health emergency treatment training, and workplace safety training programs that reduce worker fatigue and boost productivity. Sign up today!