Workers and employers in South Carolina may be interested to learn that about 13 percent of work-related injuries can be attributed to sleep issues. The National Safety Council also estimates that the economic impact of these injuries results in a loss of $400 billion. Employers who have at least 1,000 workers could sustain a loss in excess of $1 million every year due to people missing workdays, rising health care costs resulting from worker fatigue and lower productivity.

To address the issues of fatigue-related workplace issues, the NSC has released a report that offers a number of possible solutions. The report states that workplace injuries can be an indirect result of a workplace culture that in some way abides fatigue or provides incentives for people to work while tired. Some workplace cultures that value high performance may have workers viewing fatigue as a failing. This could result in the workers feeling compelled to complete their work in spite of long working hours. People who work in high-performance work cultures might even begin to believe that they are not affected by fatigue.

Addressing the issue of fatigue in the workplace is essential to avoiding preventable injuries and death. With an effective fatigue risk management system, employers can use employee education and training along with enhanced workplace environments, data-based programs and a change in work culture to mitigate the risk of fatigue.

A workers’ compensation attorney may help an injured employee obtain the financial benefits to which they might be legally entitled. The attorney could assist with filing and/or appealing process if a claim has been denied. Furthermore, the appropriate agencies could be notified of the safety violations that may have contributed to the workplace injury.