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Fatigue: the most critical accident risk in oil and gas construction


  • Margaret Chan


Construction work in oil and gas projects is both challenging and hazardous. The occupational hazards are often associated with fatigue and stress, and an accident is one possible outcome. The purpose of the two-part study was to identify the new and emergent risks within the top 10 ranked risks and to evaluate their contribution to accidents. Three hundred and twenty stakeholders, from four oil and gas construction projects in mainland China participated in the survey questionnaire. Fifteen workers, who have experienced actual fatigue-related accidents, were also interviewed. All of the stakeholders unanimously ranked fatigue as the most critical risk perceived to cause accidents with emotional disturbance, the emergent risk. This is the first time that fatigue has been identified as the leading accident risk in the construction industry. It was further reported as a trigger risk to a bundle of other synergetic risks. The new discovery confirms the need to consider fatigue as a complex multidimensional phenomenon and the lynchpin to reducing accidents. These findings have created new responses to the problem of accident causation and alternative views to accident mitigation. The discoveries will open new opportunities for future research in the areas of fatigue and stress risk management in construction.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Chan, 2011. "Fatigue: the most critical accident risk in oil and gas construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 341-353.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:29:y:2011:i:4:p:341-353
    DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2010.545993

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