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How Fatigue Can Lead to Workplace Injuries


June is National Safety Month, so we want to ensure people have as safe a workplace as possible. One of the most dangerous aspects of working is insufficient sleep. According to this infographic by the National Safety Council, every 7 seconds a worker is injured on the job. That number adds up to about 4,700,000 per year. Part of the reason it’s so easy to get injured at work has to do with sleep habits. People who have poor sleep habits or who work long hours tend to make more mistakes, some of which could end up getting them injured.

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine specified fatigue is the body’s response to sleep deprivation or lengthy physical or mental hard work. It can be just as debilitating as drinking too much alcohol because it slows your reaction time and decreases your cognitive ability. Fatigue can make it difficult to respond to dangerous situations, which can put yourself and others at risk. Those who work several jobs to cover the bills also tend to get 40 minutes less sleep per day than those who work one job.

A risk index was published by two researchers in an attempt to estimate injury risk related to work schedules. According to their findings, danger of acquiring an injury was 31 percent higher among night shift workers than morning shift workers. Additionally, by the 4th consecutive night shift, the risk was 36% higher than on the first night, and risk nearly doubled by the 12th hour of work. However, according to the same data, risk decreased by almost 50% after any length of rest break.

To keep yourself and your workplace safe, it’s important to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Most people need at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and your chance of experiencing an accident decreases when you don’t feel fatigued throughout the day.

However, if you have been injured in a workplace incident, talk to one of our skilled Charleston workplace injury attorneys at Berthold Law Firm, PLLC. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients seek compensation for health care, lost wages, and property damage. We have a fantastic track record of success and can offer you more than 40 years of personal injury law experience. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (304) 605-2040 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.