I find it hard to believe that this question needs to be asked. Of course fatigue can lead to human error. This has been proven over and over again. And doctors are human.

I read an article in the Ploughkeepsie Journal that had the following quote:

While surgeons interviewed in a 2011 Georgia Regents University study believe fatigue has an effect on their ’emotions, cognitive capability, and fine-motor skills,’ few of them said it has a large effect on patient safety.

Obviously surgeons, just like many other workers, convince themselves that they can use willpower to overcome  the real physical limitations that fatigue creates. Physical limitations that lead to increased errors and patient harm.

Of course, everyone has some degree of fatigue in life. But the level of fatigue we are talking about goes above and beyond what could be deemed acceptable.

Is it possible to predict when someone will be too fatigued to produce reliable results? Yes. We worked with Circadian Technologies to help create their Fatigue Accident Causation Testing System (FACTS). Learn more about it at this link:


I believe fatigue is one of the most underreported accident patient safety incident causes, Why? Because people don’t understand how insidious fatigue is as an accident cause.

No matter what industry you are in, if you would you like to learn more about fatigue as a cause of human error, attend the 2014 Global TapRooT® Summit and hear Bill Sirois, COO at Circadian Technologies, present “Fatigue and Human Performance – The Tell-Tail Signs of Fatigue Related Mistakes” in the Human Error Reduction and Behavior Change Track. You will return to work with a heightened awareness of the risks presented when people go beyond their limits of fatigue.