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Tired workers could have major financial impacts on a business

It appears that Americans are no strangers to fatigue. According to National Safety Council estimates, around 43 percent of individuals here in the U.S. have sleep levels that are low enough to negatively impact things like their safety, productivity and cognitive abilities.

And it appears that being tired on the job is also very common in the United States. NSC estimates put the percentage of Americans who indicate they feel fatigued at work at 76 percent.

How sleepy their workers are on the job could have major ramifications for businesses. For one, having a fatigued workforce could end up having some significant costs for employers.

Recent NSC and Brigham Health Sleep Matters Initiative research looks at some of these costs. It focuses on how much in costs tired workers expose employers to through things such as:

  • Reduced productivity.
  • Absenteeism.
  • Healthcare.

The research indicates these costs can add up quite a bit for employers. It estimates that they add up to well over a million dollars a year for a U.S. business with 1,000 employees.

Another type of cost tired workers could expose employers to are expenses related to personal injury litigation. Fatigued workers could be more prone to causing accidents. Some such incidents could cause harm to others, such as:

  • A construction accident that hurts a passerby.
  • A motor vehicle accident the hurts other motorists.
  • An accident on the business’ premises that injures a customer.

When one of its workers, when tired on the job, causes an incident that does harm to someone, a business could be at risk of facing personal injury lawsuits. Such lawsuits could expose a business to significant costs. This is part of why it can be so critical for a company to reach out for defense guidance when such litigation arises.

Given the costs workforce fatigue can create, it can be important for businesses to take steps to prevent such fatigue from being commonplace among their workers. What would you recommend for companies when it comes to encouraging a fully awake and alert workforce?

Source: National Security Council, “Report: Exhausted Employees Cost American Companies Millions of Dollars Annually,” Sept. 25, 2017

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