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Safety Leadership Podcast Episode 6: Tired to Death – why we need to talk about sleep and fatigue


We are a sleep-deprived and overworked nation, at risk of endangering ourselves, our colleagues and our relationships. Adam Christopher investigates the risks we’re taking in the latest ATT podcast.

How are those working in the construction industry at risk of becoming fatigued? Jamie Curtis – a scaffolder – talks candidly about the challenges of shift work, particularly when sandwiched between lengthy commutes, as well as some of the positive effects it can have on family life. John Owen describes the impact on his life when he was arrested for dangerous driving as he returned home from shift.

Adam talks to Judith Devlin, Senior Safety Advisor at Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, who discusses what the organisation is doing to address fatigue as a serious issue and manage the wellbeing of their workforce. From culture change in the workplace, to their involvement with Canadian company Fatigue Science, we hear about the strides MSI are taking towards de-stigmatising fatigue related welfare.

The ’science of sleepiness’ is explained by Lecturer in Transport Safety at the University of Loughborough, Dr Ashleigh Filtness, one of the pioneers behind the first ever on-road study of fatigue in bus drivers. Serving police officer Yvonne Taylor discusses her PhD studies of the dangers that can stem from a lack of awareness and passive attitude towards tiredness. Both academics give myth-busting insight into how our bodies actually function when fatigued, and the direct effect it has on our concentration, reaction speed and rational decision-making skills.

With the help of industry professionals, academic experts and the lived experience of construction workers, this episode delves deeper than just rolling down the window or turning up the radio to tackle sleepiness; we take a closer look at the science behind how fatigue impacts our behaviour, and what we can do on an individual and institutional scale to mitigate the risk of fatigue related fatalities.

Listen to the full episode on our website or iTunes – The ATT Safety Leadership Podcast


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