At the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, companies in the petroleum industry introduced strict measures to protect employees’ health and reduce the likelihood of production shutdown.

In March, the Safety Forum set up a cross-party group to collect information and help spread knowledge of how fatigue can be dealt with in respect of extended work periods offshore and at onshore facilities, with personnel’s altered exposure patterns and workloads.

The memorandum, entitled “When it becomes too much” - efforts to prevent and address fatigue in petroleum industry employees resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic, describes occupational issues relating to fatigue and suggests measures to improve management of the risk.

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a well-known phenomenon in shift workers and is defined as a reduction in physical and/or mental capacity resulting from lack of sleep and or physical, mental or emotional exertion. Fatigue may develop after repeated exposure to working environment factors that are physically and/or mentally stressful, and may result in health hazards and increased safety risk.