Fatigue in the Workplace: Effects on Health and Performance
and Measurement Considerations

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and University of Iowa

December 16, 2020

Presented By: David I Douphrate, PhD, MPT, MBA, CPE, CSP & Nate Fethke, PhD, CPE

Webinar Details

A leading cause of non-fatal work injuries is overexertion and bodily reaction. What is less understood is the role fatigue plays as a contributing factor. Fatigue in the workplace is a multidimensional process that results in diminished worker performance and is often under appreciated and unrecognized. Reducing the incidence of fatigue-induced workplace injuries and lost productivity depends on accurate and timely detection to allow for appropriate intervention. This webinar will present an overview of worker fatigue and how it may be defined, examine ramifications on worker health and performance, and identify measurement considerations.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Discuss the multi-dimensional perspectives and definitions of worker fatigue

  • Examine the ramifications of worker fatigue on health and performance

  • Identify multiple approaches to worker fatigue measurement


David Douphrate, PhD, MPT, MBA, CPE, CSP is an Associate Professor in the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health in San Antonio. Dr. Douphrate earned a PhD in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO. Dr. Douphrate also holds a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. Dr. Douphrate earned his BS degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. Dr. Douphrate is a Certified Professional Ergonomist and Safety Professional. His research and outreach focus for the past 18 years has been concentrated in the dairy industry. Dr. Douphrate has served as principal investigator on several dairy-related research projects, and has partnered with two NIOSH-funded agricultural health and safety research centers (High Plains and Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education) to address worker health and safety on dairy farms.


Nate Fethke, PhD, CPE, is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa, where he directs the Ergonomics Training Program within the NIOSH-funded Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety. He also holds secondary faculty appointments in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Industrial & Systems Engineering. In addition to his role with the Heartland Center, Dr. Fethke is Associate Director of the NIOSH-funded Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest at the University of Iowa and Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include theoretical and practical considerations for the use of direct measurement methods to assess the physical demands of work, as well as the epidemiology of musculoskeletal outcomes among working people. He has led several NIOSH-funded projects focused on the construction, agriculture, and manufacturing industries, and he collaborates with Dr. David Douphrate on a series of dairy-related ergonomics research initiatives.

Special Thanks to Our ERC Partners at the SWCOH and Heartland COHS!