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Sleepiness in the Workplace

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Fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness and drowsiness have become interchangeable terms which all point to a serious problem in the workplace – high risk of injury, lost productivity and impact on the bottom line.  Fatigue, but more specifically ‘drowsiness’ which is the dangerous state before sleep, combined with a hectic work schedule can wreak havoc on our health and safety.

Shift workers are most likely to suffer injuries and illnesses caused by drowsiness, as they are the type of workers who tend to work against their natural body clock. Generally, shift workers have to fight against their circadian rhythm in order to stay awake during the night – when they are programmed to sleep – and sleep during the day, when they are programmed to be awake.

A great amount of shift work involves long-distance driving, so those who drive during the times their bodies are programmed to be sleeping – between midnight at 6am – are six times more likely to be involved in a car or truck accident than other workers.

Basic company ‘fatigue management’ means employers or managers know the risks to identify and how these risks can be appropriately addressed. Managing fatigue and the dangerous state of drowsiness in the workplace can help to lower the chance of an injury or accident.

Causes of drowsiness

It’s common for people to misdiagnose feeling overtired or overworked with fatigue or drowsiness, mostly because the desire to sleep is associated. Chronic drowsiness though, can be a long-term debilitating condition, normally traced back to a lifestyle habit. The most common determinants of fatigue include:

  • Night work and shift work
  • Jet lag
  • Sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy and insomnia
  • Poor eating habits
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep

Drowsiness and fatigue prevention

Shift workers and long distance truck drivers are some of the groups that are most susceptible to fatigue-related conditions and injuries due to the irregular nature of their work. In fact, shift workers increase their risk by almost six times of having an accident caused by drowsiness.

Extended hours of work, shift work, or second jobs are all very real factors that can contribute to employee drowsiness. Employers should always be aware of any overtime work and impose limits on the number of hours employees can work in a given day or week.

The first step towards prevention is accurate fatigue management. This is when employers should conduct assessments of their staff to identify possible instances or causes related to drowsiness.

A risk assessment will identify

Which workers are likely to experience drowsiness (Night shift workers, truck drivers, and those who work long hours.)

Their hours of work (How many hours are they working per week? How many hours do they have for rest between shifts?)  The time of day they are working (Are they working nights? How many night shifts are they working per week?)

What actions can be taken (Could you implement weekly rotating schedules?)

Managers and employers should be trained in identifying risks and implementing appropriate actions to ensure health and safety of all employees.

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Average Rating:
2.6
Total Number of Reviews:
16
 
  • February 7, 2019
    dsaspel
    The sleep study was fine. Room was clean, they tried to make me comfortable. The tech I had was wonderful. My complaint with practice is never seeing a Dr but getting charged huge fees. Fees which I set up autopay for by calling a different office only to find out a couple months later that the payments weren't coming out of my checking account. My invoices by mail stopped coming after setting up the payment plan. When I realized they weren't coming out I called the Grove City office to check on it, I always have to leave a message but this office is wonderful with calling back and leaving a message. I was told to call a different number which I did a few times with no call backs. I have now emailed twice and still no response. I just want to pay my bill. There is no online pay option either. Please just take my money and not send me to collections! I have worked hard to maintain an excellent credit score and I do not want it ruined by your office!
  • January 24, 2019
    Ck
    Not very responsive to their customers.
  • January 16, 2019
    h m
    tyfff7o
  • January 15, 2019
    ERYR45TY4R5UH
    JRHR5TYEY6
  • January 11, 2019
    adrian
    simple quiz
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>
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Leave Us A Review!

Click To Leave Review

Average Rating:
2.6
Total Number of Reviews:
16
 
  • February 7, 2019
    dsaspel
    The sleep study was fine. Room was clean, they tried to make me comfortable. The tech I had was wonderful. My complaint with practice is never seeing a Dr but getting charged huge fees. Fees which I set up autopay for by calling a different office only to find out a couple months later that the payments weren't coming out of my checking account. My invoices by mail stopped coming after setting up the payment plan. When I realized they weren't coming out I called the Grove City office to check on it, I always have to leave a message but this office is wonderful with calling back and leaving a message. I was told to call a different number which I did a few times with no call backs. I have now emailed twice and still no response. I just want to pay my bill. There is no online pay option either. Please just take my money and not send me to collections! I have worked hard to maintain an excellent credit score and I do not want it ruined by your office!
  • January 24, 2019
    Ck
    Not very responsive to their customers.
  • January 16, 2019
    h m
    tyfff7o
  • January 15, 2019
    ERYR45TY4R5UH
    JRHR5TYEY6
  • January 11, 2019
    adrian
    simple quiz
<
>
Full Star Created with Sketch. Half Star Created with Sketch. Empty Star Created with Sketch.