How North Carolina Workplace Safety is Impacted by Fatigue

March 8 , 2024

At the Ramsay Law Firm, P.A., our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys personally know the value of a good night’s sleep. And for good reason: There’s science behind it.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health, well-being, cognitive function, and productivity.

Workplace Safety

Not getting enough sleep cannot only increase the risk of many diseases and disorders, but fatigue can also lead to increases in North Carolina workplace accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 13% of workplace injuries may be attributed to fatigue. Unfortunately, more than 40% of U.S. workers are sleep-deprived, and over 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder.

Here, we discuss how the lack of quality sleep can translate to workplace injuries and fatalities.

How Fatigue Impacts Workplace Safety in North Carolina

Fatigue can have significant implications for workplace safety here and nationwide, including reduced alertness and attention, making workers more susceptible to accidents caused by inattention or distraction. This is particularly concerning in industries where workers operate heavy machinery, drive vehicles, or perform tasks that require vigilance.

Other potentially dangerous side effects of fatigue in the workplace may include, but are not limited to:

  • Slower Reaction Times

Fatigue can slow reaction times, impairing a worker’s ability to respond quickly to hazards or unexpected events in the workplace. This delay in reaction time can increase the likelihood of accidents, especially in environments where quick responses are critical to preventing injuries.

  • Impaired Decision-Making

Fatigue can impair cognitive function and decision-making abilities, leading to poor judgment and risk-taking behaviors in the workplace. When tired, workers may make unsafe choices or overlook safety protocols, increasing the potential for accidents and injuries.

  • Reduced Physical Performance

Fatigue can affect physical coordination, strength, and endurance, increasing the risk of slips, trips, falls, and overexertion accidents. Workers may be more prone to making mistakes or losing balance when performing tasks that require physical exertion.

  • Increased Error Rates

Fatigue can contribute to higher error rates and decreased accuracy in tasks performed in the workplace. This can lead to quality control issues, production errors, and safety hazards, particularly in industries where precision and attention to detail are essential.

  • Impacts on Health and Well-being

Chronic fatigue can have long-term health consequences, including increased risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and mental health disorders. Workers experiencing fatigue may be more susceptible to illness, injury, and absenteeism, compromising workplace safety.

Studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and the increased incidence of workplace accidents and injuries. Promoting a safety culture that prioritizes employee well-being and encourages open communication about fatigue-related concerns can help reduce these incidences and help North Carolina workers return home safely.

Have You Been Injured at Work in North Carolina?

Our dedicated Mecklenburg County workers’ compensation law firm provides free consultations to all employees who have suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina by calling 704-376-1616 or contacting us online.

A Voice For The Injured. Here Every Step of The Way.

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