Insomnia, Major Factor in Workplace Errors, Injuries

on 11/01/2012

According to a new study, workers who find it hard to sleep at night, and arrive to work in a fatigued condition, may be at a much higher risk of workplace errors, and consequently accidents.  According to the study, as many as 274,000 workplace accidents and errors every year can be linked directly to insomnia.

The study was based on surveys of more than 10,000 people, and found that 5.5% of people, who suffer from insomnia, end up causing accidents or making workplace errors.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, is not believed be conclusive, and it is likely that there are other factors, besides insomnia, that are possibly contributing to these accidents in the workplace.  However, fatigue has been linked to a higher risk of accidents in the transportation sector including plane crashes, truck accidents as well as motor vehicle accidents.  It's not hard to assume that workers, who arrive to work in a fatigued condition, are much more likely to make errors. 

At least some of these errors may be serious, not to mention expensive.  A worker who is operating heavy machinery, for instance, must be totally alert and focused on the task at hand.  Sleepiness or drowsiness could prove severely injurious, or even fatal.  Similarly, workers who are operating heavy industrial equipment, must be completely alert, and must not be suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation. It is believed that the annual cost of insomnia-related workplace errors is as much as $31 billion.

The results of the study indicate to Houston work injury lawyers that employers need to be more concerned about sleep-related issues affecting employees, and invest in screening of employees for sleep-related disorders.

Tags: Workplace Injury, Houston

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