More than 33% of manufacturing workers show up for work at greater risk of an injury than their co-workers for one simple reason — they don’t get enough sleep.
Fatigue affects almost 41 million U.S. workers, according to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The industry with the most at-risk workers? Manufacturing.
Transportation and warehousing workers are even more likely to be fatigued — almost 70% of employees in these sectors had fatigue issues.
The CDC says workers who get fewer than six hours of sleep a night show signs of fatigue at work. That means they pose a safety hazard to themselves and others simply by not sleeping enough the night before.
The CDC points to some other groups of workers who are at a greater risk for fatigue on the job:
- 36% of workers who work more than 40 hours a week are more likely to be fatigued,
- 34% of workers in the manufacturing industry didn’t get enough sleep,
- 37% of workers with two jobs need more sleep to work safely, and
- 44% of night-shift workers suffered from too little sleep.
Convincing workers of the danger
Fatigue hazards pose a unique problem for managers. How can you convince workers to go to bed earlier?
Here’s one strategy: Workers may not think fatigue is a serious hazard.
Everybody feels tired sometimes, so workers may think showing up on a few hours sleep is no big deal. But the symptoms of fatigue are often similar to being intoxicated on the job.
To convince workers fatigue is an issue worth paying attention to, share these stats with them:
- 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.5
- 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.8 (legal limit in Canada), and
- 24-25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .10