New Report from National Safety Council Finds That More than 37% of Workers are Sleep-Deprived

Ninety Seven Percent of Surveyed Respondents Reported at Least One Workplace Fatigue Risk Factor
Audio: 
Emily Whitcomb, Fatigue Program Manager, National Safety Council

(Washington D.C., Wednesday, July 26, 2017) – People often make light of how little sleep they get; an over-worked, over-tired condition has become the norm for many.

The new report Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes and Consequences of Employee Fatigue is the first in a series of reports produced by the National Safety Council on the topic.

97% of surveyed respondents reported at least one workplace fatigue risk factor. The most commonly reported risk factor was a shorter than recommended sleep duration, with 43% percent of respondents reporting sleeping less than seven hours a week day, on average.

More than 37% of workers are sleep-deprived, and those most at risk work the night shift, long shifts or irregular shifts.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported falling asleep on the job at least once in the last month.

Fatigued worker productivity costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually.

A good night's sleep is not just a novelty, it's a necessity. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact on all areas of our lives. Fatigue is a problem that affects all of us, has detrimental effects on our health and safety both on- and off-the-job, and yet goes largely unaddressed.

The nine workplace fatigue risk factors looked at in the report include: shift work, high-risk hours, demanding jobs, long shifts, long weeks, sleep loss, no rest breaks, quick shift returns, and long commutes.

A person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day to perform at an optimal level. As soon as a person awakes, their body begins to accumulate the need for sleep. A large majority of respondents, 61%, reported having between two and four risk factors for workplace fatigue. While more than one in five respondents reported five or more risk factors for fatigue.

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