Getting a full eight hours of sleep isn’t always easy.
The kids may not want to go to bed, the game may go into overtime, or your car might get a flat tire on the way home from an engagement.
New research has shown that getting a good night’s sleep can decrease workplace accidents by a large margin, however. A study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University included data from employees in Portland, Oregon’s Public Works Department which showed that poor sleep quality and safety is tied to what the researchers call workplace cognitive failures, or lapses in attention, memory or action at work.
Workplace injuries often take place when employees have what are called cognitive failures, which occur when a person fails to remember correct work procedures, to shut work equipment off, unintentionally pressing a control switch on machines; or accidentally starting or stopping the wrong machine.
How insomnia impacts work safety
The study defined “insomnia symptoms" by the person's ability or inability to quickly fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night while "sleep sufficiency" conditions were defined as feeling well-rested upon awakening.
The study found that not feeling well-rested was related to lower safety compliance, but the researchers couldn't connect that feeling to cognitive failures that workers with more insomnia symptoms experienced. The researchers came to believe that sleep quantity was not related to any safety outcomes they examined.
In other words, sleep "quality" was more important than "quantity" for predicting workplace safety, according to this study.
In conclusion, the study found that businesses like construction should take more care to ensure their employees are well-rested, as they are working in physically demanding conditions where the risk of physical injury is higher. In addition, the possibility for a worker filing a workman’s comp claim or a lawsuit against an employer if they have a work-related incident is higher if the employer doesn’t take measures to ensure that their employees are at least aware of the benefits of more sleep.
In the event that you are injured on the job as the result of sleep deprivation or a sleep-related condition, you should be sure to bring your case to an attorney that can help understand the complex world of labor law.
The McAndrew Law Firm specializes in helping workers get their rightful compensation when they experience an injury on the job site and we will work to ensure that you receive the damages you are entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.