Time-of-day and days-on-shift predict increased fatigue over two-week offshore day-shifts

V. Riethmeister*, R. W. Matthews, D. Dawson, M. R. de Boer, S. Brouwer, U. Bültmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the accumulation of fatigue over a two-week offshore period. In particular, the effects of (1) time-of-day and days-on-shift as well as (2) acute and chronic sleep loss on the rate at which fatigue accumulates were investigated. Methods: 42 day-shift offshore workers were examined. Fatigue was measured using pre- and post-shift scores on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). Total sleep time was measured using actigraphy (Motionwatch8, Camntech). Data was analyzed using a linear mixed model analyses. Results: Average sleep loss per night was 92 min (95%CI: 89.6–94.0; p <.001). Mean cumulative sleep loss across the study was 21:20hrs (SD = 08:10hrs) over the 14 days. Chronic sleep loss was significantly related to a modest increase in sleepiness (KSS) across the shift (95%CI: 0.01–0.17; p =.020) and in post-shift scores (95%CI:.07–0.19; p <.001). Time-of-day (95%CI: 0.63 to −0.01; p =.042) and days-on-shift (95%CI: 0.03–0.08; p <.001) as well as their interaction (95%CI: 0.08 to −0.00; p =.027) influenced the rate at which fatigue accumulated over a two-week offshore period. Conclusions: Pre- and post-shift fatigue accumulate in different ways over the two-week offshore period. The accumulation of post-shift fatigue scores was positively related to successive days-on-shift and chronic sleep loss. Our results suggest that prolonging offshore periods will likely result in elevated fatigue risk. Accumulating fatigue and sleep loss over two-week offshore periods should be considered in fatigue risk management plans and systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Fatigue risk management
  • Occupational health
  • Occupational safety
  • Sleep
  • Sleepiness


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