Fatigue And Tiredness Accident At Work Compensation Claims

By Brett Williams. Last Updated 3rd January 2023. Welcome to our guide on claiming for an accident at work caused by tiredness. If you were injured due to a tiredness accident at work, you could seek compensation if it wasn’t your fault. Our guide provides essential advice on eligibility.

tiredness accident at work / accident at work caused by tiredness

Tiredness and fatigue in the workplace can result in serious injuries. Should you have been tired due to pressures from your employer, you may not have been functioning at your best when the accident occurred.

There are many reasons for tiredness in the workplace which include working longer than usual hours without sufficient breaks.

Our guide explains how you could seek compensation for injuries sustained in a tiredness-at-work accident that wasn’t your fault.

To find out more, please continue reading our guide and discover whether you have grounds to sue for compensation. Alternatively, for free legal advice from one of our specialist advisers, please call a member of the team on 0800 073 8801 today.

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What Are Fatigue Accidents At Work?

Fatigue causes your mental performance and physical performance to decline.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it is said that workplace accidents caused by fatigue cost the UK between £115 to £240 million a year.

The number of shift workers stands at more than 3.5 million, encompassing a variety of industries. Tiredness accidents at work can occur due to poorly designed rotas. Additionally, long shifts with little time for rest and recovery can also cause fatigue.

A worker’s physical and mental performance is negatively impacted when working long hours without adequate rest breaks. The consequences include:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Slower reactions
  • Lowered awareness
  • Lack of attention
  • Reduced coordination
  • Unable to assess risk properly
  • Absent-mindedness
  • Reduced productivity

Fatigue in the workplace is also linked to heavy workloads as well as shift work. There have been disastrous major accidents that reportedly happened due to tiredness and fatigue:

  • Exxon Valdez
  • Chernobyl
  • Texas City
  • Challenger
  • Herald of Free Enterprise

 A member of our team will let you know whether you have grounds to sue for compensation and provide free legal advice on how best to proceed with a claim.

Symptoms Of Fatigue And Tiredness At Work

If you work long hours at night or your workload is routinely heavy, you are at greater risk of suffering accidents, incidents or injuries. Symptoms of fatigue and tiredness include:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sore or aching muscles

Tiredness can prevent you from working efficiently and could put you at risk of being injured in a tiredness at work accident.

To speak to a member of our team about seeking compensation for injuries caused by an accident at work caused by tiredness, please get in touch today and receive free legal advice.

How Does Fatigue Affect Worker Safety?

Fatigue can seriously and negatively impact safety in the workplace. When you are tired at work it can affect your ability to make the right decisions and could negatively impact your ability to work.

The consequence of work-related fatigue can be significant. NHS research, for example, suggests:

  • There is a degree of negativity (for nurses, patients, or both) towards 12-hour shifts
  • Nurses working 12-hour shifts or longer are more likely to rate the quality of care in their workplace as poor. They are also more likely to give a lower patient safety rating attributed to the environment.

Fatigue in the workplace can result in the following:

  • Reduced awareness
  • Lowered concentration
  • Impaired motor skills

If you believe that your injury was sustained because of fatigue that was caused by unsafe working patterns, get in touch today.

What Is Your Employer’s Duty Of Care To Prevent Tiredness In The Workplace?

Employers must, by law, protect employees whether permanent or temporary. Just like any other hazard, fatigue and tiredness in the workplace should be managed. If your employer fails to make sure you are working shifts that allow for adequate rest, they could be deemed negligent if their actions lead to an accident or injury.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 outlines that:

  • Employers must protect staff from injury. (This includes managing and preventing fatigue in the workplace.)

In short, managing fatigue in the workplace is part of your employer’s duty of care towards you and other members of staff.

Preventing Fatigue At Work

To prevent you from experiencing fatigue, an employer may:

  • Ensure your working hours are within the lawful requirement with adequate rest breaks.
  • Check that your shift pattern allows you to have adequate rest between shifts.

Your employer could also, where reasonably possible, ensure that you are not doing too much overtime.

Employers should also respect The Working Time Regulations 1998 which sets out the following:

  • Staff should not work more than an average of 48 hours per week. (The worker can work more hours than this so long as they do it voluntarily and put it in writing.)
  • They should not work over 6 hours without taking an adequate rest break.
  • Adult employees are given at least 11 consecutive non-working hours between shifts.
  • Adult staff are given 1 day off every week (7 days).
  • Anyone who works night shifts must not work more than 8 hours per 24 hours

If you are a GB domestic driver of goods vehicles, the regulations differ:

  • The daily driving limit is no more than 10 hours in a day on a public road.
  • You can’t be on duty for more than 11 hours on a work day.

To confidentially find out whether your employer breached their duty of care, and whether you could claim for an accident at work caused by tiredness, why not get in touch today?

What Is Your Employer’s Liability For Tiredness Accidents At Work?

An employer is responsible for protecting your safety in the workplace and this includes taking reasonable steps to ensure you do not suffer from fatigue.

If, for example, they require you to work more than 48 hours a week and don’t allow you to opt out of this, they could be contributing to your fatigue. They could therefore be liable if you were to suffer an injury because of an accident your fatigue caused.

A colleague may have raised concerns about their lack of rest breaks and that they were suffering symptoms of fatigue to your employer. If your employer didn’t attempt to rectify this and the colleague caused an injury to you because of fatigue, your employer could be liable.

If your employer fails in their duty of care towards you and you suffer an injury in a tiredness accident at work, they could be liable.

Workplace Tiredness And Fatigue Risk Factors

There are specific risk factors associated with tiredness and fatigue in the workplace. Consequentially, fatigue, burnout, and tiredness should be considered a work-related hazard. As such, employers should carefully assess and manage the hazard.

Fatigue risk factors include a tiredness related accident at work occurring due to:

  • Insufficient rest breaks during a night shift.
  • Employees being given too much overtime and not being allowed to opt-out.

Employers should abide by the law but also manage fatigue risk factors in the workplace. Additionally, your employer could risk assess changes to your working hours and abide by HSE ‘fatigue risk index’.

An employer could also set in place guidance relating to limits on working hours which could include overtime and the safe swapping of shifts between employees.

If you’re considering claiming for an injury because of an accident at work caused by tiredness, call our expert advisers on the number at the top of the page.

Night Shifts And Fatigue

Working irregular hours and working night shifts can disrupt your body’s internal body clock. It can also result in difficulties sleeping and, if not managed properly, it can lead to fatigue in the workplace.

The consequences of fatigue include being:

  • Less alert
  • Slower to react
  • Unable to concentrate

The above can lead to you suffering an injury in a tiredness accident at work. Your employer should, as reasonably as possible by law, make sure you are safe in the workplace. This could include carrying out risk assessments such as ensuring working hours are lawful. They must then set in place measures to rectify the problems they find.

Workplace Stress Leading To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterised by extreme fatigue and tiredness, though there is a wide range of other symptoms. It is recognised as a debilitating condition and symptoms can take a long time to diminish with treatment. Some sufferers may never fully recover.

CFS is also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). It is believed that overwork and stress can lead to chronic fatigue.

If you are injured in a tiredness at work accident that wasn’t your fault, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Fatigue And Tiredness Accident At Work Compensation Calculator – Updated August 2021

The table below provides information on the level of compensation that could be awarded for specific injuries. We’ve taken the figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. Courts and lawyers may use the JCG to value injuries that claimants sustain.

The amounts do not provide information on special damages (compensation for financial loss) that you could receive in a successful tiredness at work accident claim.

Type of injury sustained at work Severity of injury General Damages awarded
Fractures of Cheekbones Serious (i) £9,570 to £14,810
Neck injury Moderate (iii) £7,410 to £12,900
Back injury Minor (ii) £2,300 to £7,410
Arm injury Amputation at the shoulder No less than £128,710
Leg injury Less Serious (i) £16,860 to £26,050
Ankle injury Moderate £12,900 to £24,950
Chest injury Rib fractures or soft tissue injuries leading to serious pain and disability for weeks. Up to £3,710

Workplace Fatigue Special Damages

Special damages are compensation for out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of your injury. You would need evidence of financial losses in order to recover costs.

Medical Costs

  • You can claim the cost of prescriptions, medical care/treatment that you pay for. (You should seek the counsel of a legal expert to ensure you could recover the cost of certain private treatments.)

Care Costs

  • If you need help with daily chores during your recovery, you can include care costs no matter who takes care of you.

Travel Expenses

  • Getting to and from appointments to a medical facility or solicitor can be claimed as travel expenses.

Lost Earnings

  • You could claim lost earnings if your injuries caused you to take unpaid leave from work. And if you cannot work again, you could claim lost future earnings.

No Win No Fee Tiredness Accident At Work Claims

Working with a personal injury lawyer on a No Win No Fee basis offers many benefits.

When you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement, you may find yourself no longer concerned about funding the services of a solicitor. This is because you:

  • Only pay a No Win No Fee lawyer’s fees when you win your case.
  • Do not have to pay this fee if you lose your case.
  • Don’t have to pay an upfront solicitor’s fee.
  • Only pay the solicitor’s fee once you’ve received your compensaiton.

To discuss a tiredness at work accident claim with a member of our team, please get in touch today.

Start Your Claim

To look into making a claim and for free legal advice, a member of our team is here to take your call.


Below, you can find some more references on accident at work claims that you may find useful:

Thanks for reading about claiming for an accident at work caused by tiredness.

Guide by HW

Edited by RV