Operating Machinery While Fatigued

Logging and forestry work can be dangerous! Help your crew members stay safe with frequent safety meetings. This Operating While Fatiqued factsheet, along with the others in this collection, were designed to be used as 5 minute tailgate trainings.

Incident Summary:

On May 28th, Leo left his house at 4:00 a.m. to drive to report to work as a log truck driver at a logging site 45 minutes away.  He had worked an average of 13 hours/day Monday‐Friday for the past two weeks.  Seasonal allergies had also left Leo congested and sleep‐deprived.  At 7:32 a.m., police and EMT personnel responded to an accident involving Leo’s truck and an SUV.   According to the police report, Leo fell asleep at the wheel and failed to stop at a traffic light.   His loaded log truck hit an SUV carrying a woman and two children.   The woman and one child died at the scene.  The other child was life‐flighted to Dallas Children’s Hospital.  Leo suffered a concussion, and multiple broken bones in his feet, legs and hips.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. What contributed to Leo’s fatigue?
  2. What can a worker do to fight fatigue?
  3. What are the lifelong consequences of this incident?

Take Home Message:

Driving or operating machinery while fatigued can be deadly, for you and the people around you.   

Check the SW Center website frequently for new factsheets: http://www.swagcenter.org/resourcesforestryfactsheets.asp

For comments or suggestions, contact Amanda Wickman at amanda.wickman@uthct.edu or by phone to
903-877-5998 or Nykole Vance at nykole.vance@uthct.edu or by phone 903-877-7935.

Created by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education
11937 US Hwy 271
Tyler, TX 75708

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Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More