It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Sleep deprivation is a problem in America — at a cost to employees and employers. Here are the facts:
- In the U.S., three in 10 working adults sleep six hours or less in a 24-hour period.
- For employees who sleep less than five hours per day, the estimated annual injury incidence rate per 100 workers is 7.89. For those who catch seven to eight hours of zzzs, the injury rate falls to just 2.27.
- Fatigue-related productivity losses cost almost $2,000 per worker each year.
The good news is there are helpful, time-tested tips for employers and employees.
Tips for employers
- Evaluate and reconsider workloads, hours, understaffing and worker absences — scheduled and unscheduled.
- Set work schedules to permit rest breaks and nighttime sleep.
- Adjust the lighting, temperature and worksite surroundings to keep your workers alert.
- Educate and train your employees on sleep deprivation, effects on wellness and the workplace, tips for better sleep (see below), and the benefits of diet and exercise.
- Develop worksite wellness program that improves population health and reduces health risks.
- Consider a fatigue risk management plan for your organization (see Resources).
Tips for employees
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep every day.
- Follow a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Eliminate unnecessary light.
- Don’t eat right before bed.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and stimulants.
- Don’t watch TV or use electronic devices at bedtime.
Additional workplace resources and educational content are available from OSHA, the National Safety Council and the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. And contact us at Safety On Call at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.361-4700 or 888-501-4752. Our Safety Services team is here to answer questions, provide materials and help your organization maintain a well-rested workforce for a safer, healthier and more productive workplace.