• SMART Safety

The Cost of Fatigued Workers

When employees are feeling fatigued they should dig into what factors may be causing them to feel this way. Fatigue is a symptom of one or more health issue, which could include of a lack of sleep and rest or an illness. Fatigue is described as a prolonged lack of energy and motivation physically and mentally. Employees can become fatigued when they are overworked or do not have enough time to take care of themselves, both mentally and physically.


According to the National Safety Council, more than 43% of workers are sleep deprived. The majority of this number comes from workers who work night-shifts or excessive over-time. In fact, 62% of night-shift workers complain about sleep loss. When workers are not well-rested they become a safety risk to themselves and everyone around them. Mindless, drowsy work can lead to simple mistakes contributing to incidents or injuries, especially when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle or heavy machinery.


Sleep is an extraordinarily vital aspect to a healthy life and without it there is a decline in cognitive and physical abilities. Sleep deprived people are unable to use their brains to the full extent they would be able to when they get a healthy amount of sleep and rest. A fatigued worker will not be as focused or alert, which is major danger to workers in high risk industries.

Since winter weather can limit construction work, workers often work extended hours when work is heavy in order to earn enough money to supplement slower periods. It is important for employers to keep an eye on workers and ensure they have enough time off to take care of their basic needs, like getting proper sleep and caring for their family and homes. By spending a little extra time on projects instead of working employees long hours, employers can decrease the risk of incidents and injuries, thereby decreasing the amount of money they would spend on insurance premiums and workers compensation costs. Remember that deadlines are always important for your company to meet, but the lives' of employees are extraordinarily more important.


SMART Safety is dedicated to providing safety management and services to help employers reduce incidents and create a safe workplace. By providing a comprehensive safety program including targeted training as needed, SMART Safety can ensure that employers and employees are aware of the best work practices to keep everyone safe. For more information on how SMART Safety can help your company establish a safety-first workplace, visit our Contact Us page.


#SafetyFirst #Fatigue #HealthyWorkers #WorkplaceSafety


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  • EHS Today

  • National Safety Council

  • ANSI

  • NIOSH

  • MSHA

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