Association Between Fatigue and Occupational Physical Trauma Among Male Iranian Workers in the Copper Extraction Industry




Background: Fatigue may lead to occupational physical trauma among the workforce. Objectives: This study was designed to explore the relationship between work-related physical trauma and fatigue in the copper extraction industry. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 453 male workers employed in the copper extraction industry in Kerman, Iran. The validated Persian version of the Piper Chronic Fatigue Scale was used for the data collection. An additional self-administrated questionnaire was prepared to obtain demographic and occupational data, including age, work experience, smoking, and history of physical trauma in the workplace. Results: The results showed that 28.5% of the participants had experienced work-related physical trauma during the past three years. Severe fatigue was most commonly reported on the subscale for life and emotions (14.79%). A higher rate of work-related fatigue was associated with physically strenuous activities and an inappropriate work place. The mean fatigue scores for subjects both with and without physical trauma experiences were 3.75 ± 0.98 and 2.86 ± 0.79, respectively (P = 0.005). Conclusions: General fatigue and its subscales had a significant relationship with workplace physical trauma amongminers. Workplace physical trauma can be reduced bymanaging fatigue with different programs, including decreasing the workload, scheduling rest breaks at the facilities, and possibly providing welfare and entertainment opportunities for the workers.