Fatigue, Impairment and Shift-work: More info

There are a number of publications you can refer to for more information on fatigue, impairment and shiftwork. Below is a list of resources and information available on fatigue, impairment and shift work from various sources.

OHS Reps:

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU):

  • Policy Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace (2006) [pdf] The policy provides a framework for employers and workers to follow when dealing with issues relating to the consumption of
    AODs and to meet their obligations under relevant OHS legislation.

  • Shift Work Guidelines [pdf]

WorkSafe Victoria:

  • Fatigue Prevention in the Workplace - This guidance provides information on how to identify potential work-related fatigue hazards, determine work-related fatigue risks and how to control work-related fatigue hazards and risks

  • Fatigue in Mines - A handbook for earth resources - newly published in 2009, the publication is designed to assist mine operators and workers in earth resources comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health (OHS Act) and Safety Regulations 2007 (OHS Regulations)


  • Fact sheet: Shift work and Fatigue [pdf] on fatigue, working shifts and long hours.  It provides information and advice on shift lengths, hours of work and more.

  • Also, useful for ideas: A Shift Work Survey [pdf].

Safe Work Australia

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

  • A handbook for Preventing and managing fatigue-related risk in the workplace (PDF) which provides employers with further guidance as well as practical templates and tools to support the implementation of control measures. (June 2020). The Queensland regulator says the handbook has been developed to support the 2013 Safe Work Australia Guide for Managing the Risk of Fatigue at Work.

WorkSafe WA: 

  • A Code of Practice on Working Hours [pdf] (2006) which promotes a holistic approach to identifying the hazards and assessing the risks of extended working hours. 

  • Code of Practice -  Working hours - Risk management guidelines [pdf]

  • a downloadable 'risk management fact sheet' [pdf] which is useful
  • From Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has information on Fatigue and also advice Fatigue management - a worker's guide

  • From the UK's Health and Safety Executive:
    • Fatigue and Risk Index Tool, to compare alternative patterns and help identify whether any particular aspect of an existing or proposed working time pattern is likely to increase the risk of fatigue.
    • the HSE has many research reports on the topic

  • Shiftwork The UK Train drivers' union ASLEF has made its authoritative Shift-work, lifestyle and health guide available to us for our readers. The 32 page guide is thoroughly referenced and is intended 'to assist both the union's elected representatives and its members in coping with shift-work and the long hours culture in Britain's railways. The guide is a useful resource for anyone concerned about shift-work and long hours, whatever their industry.  

Driving and fatigue


  • Health effects of shift work and extended hours of work [abstract] - JM Harrington, Occup Environ Med 2001; 58:68-72 (January)

  • From the Victorian Government Better Health website: Shiftwork - health effects

  • From the Workers Health Centre (NSW), a factsheet: Shiftwork and extended hours.

  • From the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: What is the definition of "rotational shiftwork"?

  • The Occupational Cancer Research Centre and the Institute for Work & Health (Canada) co-hosted a scientific symposium on the health effects of shift work on April 12, 2010 in Toronto. The aim was to provide an overview from leading scientific experts on current knowledge on the field, and identify key research gaps.  A summary report, presentation slides, Issue Briefing (prepared as background for the symposium) and other information are available to download. Presentations include: 'Shift work and sleep disturbance'; 'Shift work and breast cancer: the need for mechanisms'; 'Shift work and adverse health effects: possible biological mechanisms'; 'Night work, night light and cancer: animal evidence' and much more.

  • From the UK's TUC: A Hard Day's Night [pdf - a 2015 report on the effect of shift work on work/life balance. It includes references to studies and some recommendations.

Last updated September 2020