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Majority of employees tired at work: National Safety Council

Majority of employees tired at work: National Safety Council

Sixty-nine percent of employees surveyed recently reported that they are tired at work, raising workplace safety concerns as many of those employees work in safety-critical jobs, according to a report released Monday by the National Safety Council.

The Itasca, Illinois-based organization's report is the third in a series on workplace fatigue and exposes a gap between how employees and employers view the risks and consequences of being tired at work, according to a statement.

The survey included input from 2,110 employees, a majority in manufacturing, transportation, and utilities, and 504 employers.

While 90% of employers feel the impact of fatigue on their organizations, including observing safety incidents involving tired employees and declines in productivity, just 72% of workers view being tired as a safety issue.

The report also revealed that:

•          97% of employers in the transportation industry feel the impact of fatigue — the highest among all safety-critical industries NSC reported on;

•          Nearly all — 95% — of employers in utilities said it is unsafe to drive while tired, but just 66% of employees in that industry agreed;

•          100% of construction workers report having at least one risk factor for fatigue;

•          46% of construction workers say they work during high-risk hours, such as at night or early morning;

•          Transportation industry employees who reported at least one risk factor for fatigue cited long shifts (42%) and sleep loss (48%).

The organization found it “troubling to see just how affected our safety-sensitive industries are,” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of Fatigue Initiatives at the National Safety Council, said in a statement.

“When you’re tired, you can be deadly, and these industries are already at higher risk because of their safety-sensitive jobs,” she said of what the report deems a “hidden but common hazard in all workplaces. “We urge employers to address fatigue risk in their workplace so all employees can be healthy and safe.”




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