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Many Americans Admit They May Be Too Tired To Function Safely At Work, Study Finds

Forty three percent of Americans say they do not get enough sleep to mitigate critical…

  • August 10, 2017

Forty three percent of Americans say they do not get enough sleep to mitigate critical risks that can jeopardize safety at work and on the roads, according to a new National Safety Council survey-based report.

These include the ability to think clearly, make informed decisions and be productive.

The survey found 97 percent of Americans say they have at least one of the leading nine risk factors for fatigue, which include working at night or in the early morning, working long shifts without regular breaks, working more than 50 hours each week and enduring long commutes.

Fatigue impacts most Americans and, in turn, every workforce – too often resulting in disaster.

A person who loses two hours of sleep from a normal eight-hour sleep schedule may be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.

An estimated 13 percent of workplace injuries could be attributed to fatigueii, and 21 percent of all fatal car crashes – 6,400 deaths each year – are attributed to a drowsy driver.

The survey – the entirety of which will be released in three separate reports – also found:

  • 41 percent work high-risk hours, at least occasionally.
  • 39 percent have trouble remembering things at work because of fatigue.
  • 31 percent commute 30 minutes or more, which exacerbates the chances of falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • 27 percent have trouble making decisions because of fatigue.
  • 10 percent do not get regular rest breaks.

There are geographical trends when it comes to the number of Americans with fatigue risk factors. This survey identified that the South has the highest mean number of risk factors at 3.21, while the Midwest has the lowest with 2.94 risk factors.

The complete report and more information about fatigue are available at nsc.org/fatigue.

Scary stuff, but eerily familiar to many of us.

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