Employees who perform dangerous work roles face even greater dangers of injury or death from fatigue, especially in the hours shortly after the lunch period referred to as the ‘mid-afternoon dip,” said a safety advisor for the Meadowbrook Insurance Group in Minnesota. Speaking at the American Association of Safety Engineers’ Safety 2014 conference held in Orlando, Florida, on June 11, the speaker further explained the negative effects caused by employees’ lack of adequate sleep. Not only does sleep deprivation pose serious physical dangers and possible death for workers, but it also complicates workers’ compensation claims and the amount of time workers need for recuperation from job-related injuries, he said.

Quoting statistics provided by the National Sleep Foundation, the speaker went on to say that the risk of death increases almost twice as much for employees who come to work greatly fatigued, while their risk of on-the-job accidents increases by 75 percent. In an effort to decrease these dangers, he encouraged employers to be aware of the mid-afternoon period and try to have employees perform their high-risk duties accordingly by rearranging their work schedule.

It is reportedly estimated that $150 billion annually is spent on productivity losses, work-related accidents and absenteeism directly linked to sleep deprivation. It’s also a fact that when people do not get adequate sleep, their bodies take longer to heal and recover from injuries, thus increasing absenteeism.

Work environments should be safe places for employees. However, an employee that suffers a work-related injury could seek workers’ compensation benefits that cover a loss of income and any medical expenses stemming from the accident. Whenever an insurance company refuses to pay the claim, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to assist the employee in appealing the case in an effort to receive full benefits.

Source: Business Insurance , “Beware workers’ ‘mid-afternoon dip’, safety adviser warns“, Stephanie Goldberg, June 12, 2014