Long Workdays and Lack of Sleep Increase Work Injury Risk

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth has previously blogged about the dangers of drowsy driving: failure to notice dangerous situations, slow reaction times, and serious or fatal injuries that can result from an avoidable car crash.  In the same manner, the dangers of drowsy working are just serious.  The dangers of driving drowsy extend beyond the commute to work and can carry over into work itself, making drowsy work itself dangerous.  Work-related drowsiness is a known risk factor for work injury, whether working behind the wheel of a truck or forklift, or behind a desk or cash register.

According to a review of 27 research studies in 2014, workers found to have problems sleeping had a 62 percent increased risk for experiencing a work injury and 13 percent of all work injuries can be traced back to problems sleeping.  The examination also discovered that fewer hours of sleep increases the risk of a work injury regardless of how many hours are being worked.  Risk for injury begins increasing for workers who sleep less than 7 hours a night and continues increasing with less sleep.  Risk also increases when more than 40 hours of work per week, so it is much safer to be well-rested when performing overtime work.

The strongest way to fight work-related fatigue and drowsiness is to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  Of course, that may just be wishful thinking for many of us.  Some common signs of drowsiness include yawning, blinking in order to keep your eyes open, momentary forgetfulness about the tasks you are performing, and the autopilot phenomenon of performing tasks but not really remembering them.  If you work in a job that requires you to be alert and experience any of those symptoms, there are some short-term fixes, including taking a quick nap while on break or drinking something with caffeine.

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth encourages all workers to perform their jobs as safely as possible, including getting as much sleep as you can to ensure you are not drowsy on the job.  Should the unexpected happen and you suffer an injury at work, our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help you recover physically and financially.  We provide free consultations, and you are not billed for our services until we win your case.  Call us today at 888-517-9888!

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