Causes and Consequences of Occupational Fatigue: Meta-Analysis and Systems Model

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Abstract

Objective:

The study objective was to statistically codify empirical occupational fatigue literature into a systems model depicting causal factors of fatigue; interrelationships among causal factors; outcomes of fatigue; and interrelationships among outcomes.

Methods:

The objective was achieved via a comprehensive and systematic review of existing literature and the first statistical meta-analysis of occupational fatigue.

Results:

The drivers of fatigue with the greatest effect sizes include sleep deprivation and work environment factors such as noise, vibration, and temperature. The most significant outcomes of fatigue include short-term cognitive and physical degradation and, to a lesser extent, error, injury, and illness.

Conclusions:

Although there is a great deal of occupational fatigue literature, there is a dearth of replication and validations studies. Researchers are also encouraged to address knowledge gaps like the relationship between worker relationships and fatigue.

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