Reducing fatigue and preventing MSDs in the workplace


Keywords: Fatigue; Musculoskeletal Disorders; Quality

Timeline: December 4, 2012

Presenters: Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)

Funder: CRE-MSD

Project type: Conference

Sector/Workplace type: All

Theme 1 Injury mechanisms
Theme 2 Risk factors
Theme 3 Risk assessment and hazard identification
Theme 4 Interventions


Fatigue of the neuromuscular system can lead to both short and longer term effects.

In the short term: reduced performance, discomfort, reduced worker satisfaction, increased incidence of accidents, reduced productivity, and reduced quality of work.

In the longer term: consequences potentially include myalgia, burnout syndromes, reduced quality of life, and increased risk of MSDs.

Goals and process

The purpose of this conference was to discuss the importance of considering fatigue in the workplace and the implications for prevention programs to industry experts, researchers and health and safety practitioners.

The day consisted of six presentations delivered by researchers with an expertise in fatigue followed by a panel discussion with representatives from industry with audience questions.


The presentations topics were:

  • The importance of neuro-muscular fatigue at work
  • Designing jobs in manufacturing: Rest allowances
  • Preventing fatigue during repetitive tasks: Predicting maximal acceptable loads using fatigue curves
  • Fatigue during prolonged sitting and standing
  • Relationships between physical and mental fatigue and task performance
  • Healthy office work: Rest breaks and movement

Implications for the prevention of MSDs

Reducing fatigue and preventing MSDs at the workplace might lead to improved production quality for employers and improved long-term health outcomes.

Knowledge dissemination

For summary, presentations and videos, see the Reducing fatigue and preventing MSDs in the workplace event page.