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Excessive fatigue often causes serious workplace injuries

It is no secret among New York City workers and employers that fatigue can cause injuries at work, at home and out on the road. The National Safety Council published a report recently verifying that 97 percent of American workers believe they have at least one of the major risk factors for fatigue. Wherever focus and sustained attention are necessary, such as in the construction trade, workplace injuries trend higher due to fatigue.

Indeed, more than 75 percent of all workers say that they feel tired at work, and over half reported feeling less productive. It is not just alcohol and drugs that contribute to impairment at work. A good night's sleep is still a major component of being fit to perform one's job responsibilities, according to the president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

Thus, the study concluded that missing two hours of sleep from a normal eight hours is the equivalent of working after having consumed three beers. There are a number of other danger factors that can contribute to fatigue and the potential for workplace accidents to occur. Working the night or early morning shift was a trigger for some workers.

Working long shifts without breaks can disrupt the ability to focus, according to the study. Too many hours, such as having a schedule in excess of 50 hours, or enduring long commutes, can wear the person's consciousness down. The study concludes that about 13 percent of all workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue.

The fatigue-challenged worker in New York City  must take precautions to protect him or herself by going to work fresh. Where the problem arises from an intransigent employer who will not adjust a worker's hours or shift assignment, the worker will be well-advised to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. That same recommendation applies in all situations where an accident at work has resulted in serious work injuries.

Source:, "Is Fatigue a Hidden but Deadly Workplace Epidemic?", Sandy Smith, July 27, 2017

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