November 30, 2017

The Fatigue Formula

Claims Management

What plays into a workplace injury? For many, daily activities can make employees more susceptible to getting injured at work before they even step foot into the office.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. According to their recent study, “sleeping less than seven hours is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke frequent mental distress and all-cause mortality.”  

Workers fighting fatigue throughout the day increase the likeliness of workplace accidents and injury, therefore drawing a connection between sleep and workers’ compensation, as demonstrated in this recent Business Insurance article.

Everyday traffic can also impact workers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average daily commute is about 25 minutes each way. The drive to work is connected to spikes in blood pressure, anger, exhaustion, and stress, as well as increased anxiety and cholesterol levels, according to various reports including one by The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Pairing the two – both lack of sleep and commuter stress – can be a dangerous combination.

“Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community,” according to the CDC. Additionally, one of the negative effects of fatigue includes slower reaction time, which can put the driver and others in danger on the road.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18-60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Click here to read the list of the CDC’s tips on how employers and employees can work together in order to fight fatigue.