Dangers of occupational burnout and fatigue in the workplace

Experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys explain the risks

Getting enough sleep and rest isn’t just about staying healthy. It’s about avoiding workplace accidents. Recent studies have found that fatigue often results in serious workplace accidents.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 percent of work-related injures occurred due to fatigue and other sleep-related problems. The same study found that workers with sleep problems had a 1.62 times higher risk of being injured at work compared to workers without sleep problems.

So what makes lack of sleep so dangerous on the job? Here are 10 reasons why tired workers are more at risk of being injured or causing a serious workplace accident, according to the American Safety Council. The 10 dangers for tired workers compiled by the American Safety Council are:

  • Major industrial accidents linked to sleep deprivation – Investigations discovered that tired workers played a role in several major industrial accidents, including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Three Mile Island nuclear disaster and the 2010 BP oil refinery explosion.
  • Impaired motor skills – People who work long hours without sleep have significantly reduced response times, similar to someone under the influence of alcohol.
  • Poor decision-making skills – Numerous studies have found that lack of sleep can result in poor decision-making, resulting in workers taking unnecessary risks.
  • Poor memory – Tired workers cannot remember new information, which can be extremely hazardous for workers involved in dangerous work that requires strong critical thinking skills.
  • Falling asleep on the job – Tired workers who fall asleep at work often cause serious injuries or accidents, ranging from work-related car accidents to industrial accidents.
  • Shift workers at higher risk – Employee whose shift starts late at night (often midnight) are often at a much greater risk of being injured on the job, according to numerous studies.
  • Increased stress levels – Workers who consistently sleep less than seven or eight hours each night often have increased stress levels, which are often cited as one of the causes of many industrial accidents.
  • Reduced productivity – Tired workers often work at a much slower pace and often make more mistakes, according to several studies.
  • Long-term negative health impact – Sleep-deprived workers often have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, cancer and other serious health problems.
  • Lack of oversight – Many industries do not have specific safety regulations governing fatigue, extended work schedules or changes in schedules, which can result in disrupted sleep patterns and lack of sleep.

Work-related injuries due to fatigue can be serious. In certain cases, tired workers can even cause fatal workplace accidents. That’s why it’s important to understand your rights if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a tired worker or if you sustained an injury on the job due to fatigue. In such circumstances, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation or other work-related benefits.

That’s why it’s important to talk with a workers’ compensation attorney who understands the law and knows how the legal system works in your state. The experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC, have extensive experience handling complex cases. To learn more about your legal options, contact us and schedule a free consultation at our law firm.

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