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Workers who sleep poorly are dangerous to the rest of us

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) recently published a study that they’d carried out on behalf of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center. After questioning several construction workers, they determined that it’s likely that employee sleep greatly impacts workplace safety.

As part of their research, CSU graduate students polled construction workers from two different Portland work agencies. The researchers asked them to document the quality and quantity of sleep that they generally get. They then compared that data to their work safety statistics and injury rates.

In combing the records, the researchers found that those construction workers with poor quality sleep or insomnia experienced cognitive failures. They discovered that these workers tended to engage in more unsafe behaviors and ended up with more minor injuries than their colleagues.

The researchers discussed more specific ways in which these cognitive failures impacted the workers’ jobs in their report. It often resulted in them unintentionally forgetting to shut off machinery. It also affected their ability to remember and follow standard operating procedures. Some workers even admitted to daydreaming when others were speaking with them.

Many of the workers polled suffered from insomnia, or a decreased quality of sleep. Those who were affected by this condition had lower safety compliance than others. The researchers found that the quality of sleep had more of an impact on workplace safety than the quantity did.

In their report, the researchers highlighted how employers owe it to themselves to encourage their employees to enjoy better sleep. They noted how it keeps workers safe, and it exposes them to less financial risk such as lawsuits or workers’ compensation claims.

Accidents that occur in the Pennsylvania workplace, especially those that happen in sectors where heavy equipment is often used, can result in particularly serious injuries. Tired and sleepy workers are negligent workers. If a colleague’s actions have seriously hurt you, then a workers’ compensation attorney who is committed to protecting your interests can provide guidance in your case here in Dauphin.


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