When Your Co-Worker’s Lack of Sleep Leads to Workplace Injuries

MARIETTA, Georgia. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration worker’s compensation expenses cost employers an estimated $1 billion each week. These costs include medical expenses, lost wages, and work retraining costs. Many employers want to reduce the risk of workplace injury. Taking steps to prevent injury like providing safety training and safety equipment and preventing workplace falls, can reduce the risk of workplace injury. Yet, according to the National Sleep Foundation, there may be one workplace risk that employers might be overlooking: sleepiness.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleepiness can result in more errors, slowed reaction time, and poorer judgement. In workplaces where judgement, reaction time, and fewer errors are important to reducing accidents, a lack of sleep among workers can put all employees in danger. Individuals who are tired may misjudge their abilities and may even midjudge how tired they are. Workers like truck drivers, industrial workers, oil workers, and workers who perform tasks at height or who use heavy machinery should be particularly conscious of the sleep they are getting each night.

Employers can also take steps to ensure that their workers are getting the sleep they need. Limiting their workers to fewer overtime shifts, having workers maintain regular schedules rather than frequently-changed schedules, and promoting cultures of good sleep hygiene on the job can go a long way. Employers can also help workers get help for their insomnia and promote workers to get tested for sleep disorders like sleep Apnea which can interrupt sleep and leave workers tired.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepy workers are 70 percent more likely to be in an accident on the job. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, tiredness was cited as a factor leading to the nuclear meltdown of Three Mile Island, and may have also played a role in the Exxon Valdez spill.

What can you do to protect yourself on the job? Workers who have shorter commutes and who won’t frequently work overtime tend to be better rested. If you have a night shift, having a team by your side can help you stay awake. Take frequent brakes but try to stay active during breaks. A brisk walk to the coffee shop can go a long way to keeping you alert. Finally, avoid leaving tedious and important tasks to the end of the shift. Research shows that the hours between 4 and 5 a.m. put you at greatest risk of error.

Have you been hurt in a workplace accident? Do you have questions about your rights or about whether you are entitled to a recovery under the law? Amanda Hall Injury Law are workplace injury lawyers in Marietta, Georgia who may be able to help you and your family seek justice after an accident. Most workers are covered by worker’s compensation. 

Amanda Hall Injury Law
145 Towne Lake Pkwy, Ste 200
Woodstock Ga 30188