Fatigue in the workplace can lead to serious consequences, not only for the fatigued worker but for other employees. According to the National Safety Council, fatigue and other sleep problems are responsible for 13% of all workplace injuries.
To help combat the problem, it is important to recognize whether you may be at risk for fatigue in the workplace. If you are at risk, you may be able to take steps to prevent it. The following are warning signs that you may be at risk for fatigue.
1. Diagnosable sleep disorder
More than 70 million people in the United States experience sleep apnea or a similar disorder. Sleep disorders can prevent you from getting a restful night sleep, which can result in fatigue. Unfortunately, you may not realize that you have a potential problem until a family member draws attention to it. The good news, however, is that physicians who specialize in sleep medicine can successfully treat many of these conditions.
2. Sleep deprivation
Perhaps the problem is not that you cannot get a restful night sleep due to a sleep disorder. Rather, there may be external factors that keep you awake, and you are not receiving the requisite hours of sleep as a result. Whatever the reason may be, a Centers for Disease Control survey indicated that approximately 35% of the 74,571 adult respondents reported getting less than seven hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle.
3. Shift work
Working in shifts, as 15% of all full-time employees in the U.S. do, can disrupt the body’s sleep-wake cycle. This disruption can result in fatigue. Particularly vulnerable are workers on night shifts and those who work rotating shifts.
4. Repetitive/long-duration tasks
People who perform a tedious work task on a repetitive basis are at higher risk of developing fatigue. Similarly vulnerable are those who perform cognitively demanding tasks for a prolonged period of time.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.