Waking up to the risks of workplace fatigue

15 Oct Waking up to the risks of workplace fatigue

More than 1 in 10 injuries on the job may be linked to insufficient sleep, experts say.  Around the globe it is easy to find people who say: ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead,’ or ‘Sleep is for lazy people,’ or ‘People who value rest are not as ambitious,’” Even Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager, fatigue initiative, at the National Safety Council says that in America they have a long standing culture of thinking including sentences like “We have a history of incentivizing people who work long hours with extra pay, promotions and recognition.”

The article published in Safety and Health magazine discuss these key points

  • Fatigue is especially prevalent among night shift workers.
  • Symptoms of fatigue include difficulty focusing, loss of muscle coordination, impaired memory and concentration, and greater distractibility.
  • Managing fatigue is a legal responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, one expert says.

Indira Gurubhagavatula, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and chair of the Public Safety Committee at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, offered the following advice for safety professionals to share with employees who work extended or nontraditional hours:


  1. Vargas Susan, Waking up to the risks of workplace fatigue. Safety+ Health. National Safety Council. Available online: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/18760-waking-up-to-the-risks-of-workplace-fatigue