König, J. L., Hinze, A., & Bowen, J. (2021). Identifying worker fatigue in the New Zealand forestry industry (Computer Science Working Papers). Computer Science Working Papers. Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14145
Reports of incidents in dangerous work environments can be analysed to identify common hazards, in turn aiding in the prevention of future accidents. Whilst studies exist that do this, most focus on causes that involve physical risks. Instead, this paper illustrates causes of forestry incidents from the perspective of worker-failures and fatigue. Method: This paper analyses eight years’ worth of New Zealand forestry incident data, with a focus on the cause of and time that incidents occur. Results: This has resulted in two main findings. First, 70% of incidents can be attributed, at least in part, to worker-failures. Second, 78% of worker-failure based causes show indications of fatigue. This indicates that a significant number of forestry incidents are cause by worker fatigue. Finally, this dataset showed inconsistencies in data quality, similar to those that exist in other datasets. This did not effect our analysis. However, these types of errors have the potential to affect the data quality in the national reporting system. Impact on industry: The results from this study will be used in a larger project on detecting fatigue in forestry workers for injury and incident prevention. It is also our hope that other researchers may find these results of interest for further fatigue prevention research in hazardous industries.
University of Waikato
© 2021 Jemma König, Annika Hinze & Judy Bowen