Fatigue is a major detriment to workplace safety in businesses all over Minnesota. Fatigued workers increase the risks of personal safety and public safety when they struggle to perform their duties.
The commercial effects of fatigue
Nearly 13% of workplace injuries are caused by fatigue due to a lack of sleep. The National Safety Council estimates that the economic damages are approximately $400 billion due to fatigue. They believe that employers lose money when employees oversleep or don’t show up for work, companies have lower levels of productivity, and citizens face increased health care costs. As result, the NSC has proposed new guidelines in a report called “Managing Fatigue: Developing an Effective Fatigue Risk Management System” to help employees combat fatigue.
Workers’ compensation provides coverage for injuries that are caused by working conditions. When a workplace injury occurs, its cause is determined first. Fatigue is an often-overlooked problem; in certain work situations, it’s necessary that the employee focus 100% of their attention on tasks. Commercial drivers suffer the most from the negative consequences of fatigue. In addition, people who are constantly on their feet, rushing around in different rooms and giving instructions to others have to be alert at all times.
Workplace fatigue can be compensated
Although loud noises, slips and falls, and chemical spills are common workplace hazards, fatigue is often ignored as a cause. Occupational fatigue that leads to a workplace injury can be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Severe fatigue may also cause a disability that affects an employee’s ability to function properly in the workplace, so the employee may want to seek workers’ comp benefits.