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Industrial Fatigue

Industrial Fatigue

What is the Nature of Fatigue?

Fatigue has been described as “negative appetite for activity”. It means a reduced capacity for further work as a consequence of previous activity where a person was trying almost as hard as he could. It includes both mental and physical reactions as well as the phenomenon of boredom and monotony. The study and control of fatigue is difficult because it has three aspects. It has been defined in terms of one of these, namely, decline in quantity of work for a given level of effort. A second aspect is a feeling of tiredness, which is not necessarily accompanied by reduced capacity to work. The third aspect is physiological change.

Industrial Fatigue

The most prominent physiological change is accumulation of lactic acid in the blood caused by the breaking down of glycogen, or sugar, in the blood. Other physiological changes are believed to be present in the junction of the nerve and muscle cells, and under certain conditions changes in the capacity of the nerve fiber to conduct, and possibly changes in the brain. The physiological changes do not necessarily accompany changes in production as in feelings. Neither the physiologically changes nor feeling changes are as convenient to measure as are changes in production.

These three measures of activity decrement, the result of prolonged work, do not necessarily operate concurrently as to time or intensity. One can exhibited without the other two, or all three can operate together. Physiological changes occur almost as 50011 as work begins, and yet they are not necessarily highly correlated with the other two decrement either in quantity or in time. There is a tendency for the feeling decrement to appear sooner than the so called work decrement.

What are the Types of Fatigue?

Fatigue is of three types:

Muscular Fatigue:

It means physical tiredness due to continuous work for a certain period. It reduces capacity of body and muscles to exert.

Mental Fatigue:Industrial Fatigue

It is mental tiredness and irritation. It reduces control over thoughts and cause restlessness.

Nervous Fatigue:

It occurs when the nerve ending in muscles fail to keep the muscles active, caused mainly by emotional conflict and representation of negative feelings.

Measurement of fatigue

Usually only plants having some type of wage- incentive plan has accurate rate of production, hence it is mainly under this systems of wage payment that plant studies of fatigue are available. Although not the only measure, production records arc the most common measure of industrial fatigue, Plants With wage-incentives are preferable for fatigue measurement not only because. of presence of more accurate measures of output, but also because motivation is likely to be higher.

work curve

A graph showing Measurement of fatigue the level of performance against time spent at work called a work curve.

Since, practices to alleviate fatigue depend to a large measure on the nature of work curve, its discovery and use are important. If work is uniform and successive in terms of units produced then there is no difficulty exists in obtaining such a curve. A work curve is a composite showing the effects of fatigue and other variables over a period of time.

What is Simple Muscular Work?

The first work curve, is a simple muscular activity curve. Derived by recording the units of output of group of muscles against the force of some weight or spring. It can be seen from the drawing that the curve for simple muscular tasks shows a short warm-up period followed by a high level of performance. A gradual tapering off then appear Subsequently a sudden drop occurs to a point of complete exhaustion. Such work curves have a general resemblance to motor curves, but they involve simpler coordination a fewer muscles.

One can conclude from a study of such curves that the more complex and rapid the task, the faster fatigue sets in. Moderate tasks permit a greater total amount of work before complete exhaustion occurs than do heavier tasks, Since each person has own work curve, it appears possible to match the workers to jobs whose energy requirements more nearly approximate his own. Discovery of a person’s work curve allows the scheduling of activities and rest pauses that fit his peculiarities.

What is Complex Muscular Work?Industrial Fatigue

The second curve depicts the amounts of work done per unit of time in a typical industrial situation at a complex muscular task. This job assumed to be motor in nature and not monotonous. The initial upward slope of curve indicates a warm-up period. Followed by a gradual rise in production until mid morning, when a drop occurs. The afternoon curve, taken after the midday rest, is similar in appearance to the morning curve. But it does not rise to as high a production peak and it falls more rapidly near the end of the day.

What is Mental Work?

The third graph shows a typical mental work curve. As in muscular work, mental work decrement occurs in quantity, speed and accuracy of output. Again large individual differences and the nature of work tend to determine the timing and extent of such declines. The work decrement in mental tasks requiring continuous attention has attributed to interferences know as “blocks”. These intervals become lager and more frequent as the time spent at work progress. These lapses in performance are sources of mistakes. In office or industrial workplaces such blocks may cause accidents. Two experiments conducted to determine results of intense mental work suggest that a great deal of such work decline is really due to loss of interest and incentive and hot exhaustion per sec.

What are the Mitigation of Fatigue?

Fatigue can mitigated by taking following measures:

  • A physical crowded situation results in mental fatigue and confusion. When too many workers working in small space fatigue occurs. Hence, extension of working space and rearrangement of plant layout can eliminate fatigue.
  • Adequate training should given to relieve tension and thus reducing fatigue.Industrial Fatigue
  • Adjustment of eating and drinking habits and taking balanced diet can help to avoid fatigue.
  • Fatigue may reduced by improving environment conditions ( Lighting, ventilation temp., humidity, noise).
  • Fatigue occurs when work is repetitive or monotonous. A change from one job to another breaks monotony and hence reduce fatigue.
  • Proper application of scheduled hours can go a long way in reducing the in cadance of fatigue.
  • Regular exercise improves overall health and may decrease bedtime restlessness and hence reduce fatigue.
  • Steady, consistent bedtime routine helps to avoid fatigue.
  • Studies show that it develops only after some hours of continuous work. Rest pauses helps to reduce fatigue to a greater extent.

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