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A mixed methods investigation of multidimensional fatigue in the wind industry: towards a sustainable workforce

McMaster, Stefi


Stefi McMaster


T. M. (Terry M.) Williams


The wind industry encompasses a high hazard work environment with multiple demands unique to those working in this sector. A key risk to health, safety and productivity is operator fatigue. Poor management of operator fatigue is highly associated with unsafe behaviour as well as physical and mental health issues. Despite this, there is a lack of industry specific research on fatigue. Furthermore, wider organisational research and practice around fatigue management is highly reductionist, often simply addressing sleep-related strains. This could be attributed to the lack of agreed definition around the concept, particularly in the focussed literature on fatigue risk management. This research aimed to address these issues with a mixed methods approach to fatigue research in the wind industry.

Research initially comprised a systematic review examining research on human factors in the wind industry which identified multiple unique industry-related strains. Following this, a qualitative interview study with wind industry employees was conducted. Findings suggested that fatigue is experienced as a multidimensional state highly impacted by cumulative strain. Finally, a 4-week quantitative diary study compared fatigue and sleep between working and non-working time and two different types of operations and maintenance roles. Findings indicated that fatigue was highly influenced by multiple work-related demands and that this impact was cumulative and occurred regardless of sleep acquisition. This emphasises the need to employ a multidimensional approach when researching and managing fatigue and for workplace interventions to be implemented with a focus on both organisational design and individual behaviour.


McMaster, S. (2020). A mixed methods investigation of multidimensional fatigue in the wind industry: towards a sustainable workforce. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Psychology, The University of Hull
Award Date Nov 1, 2020


Thesis (5.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2020 McMaster, Stefi. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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