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Why poorly sleeping colleagues pose a danger to the rest of us

Look around yourself at work. How many of your co-workers seem to be bleary-eyed and half-asleep on the job? If you find some who fit that description, you’re far from alone.

The Oregon Healthy Workforce Center hired Colorado State University (CSU) researchers to review incident reports and interview construction workers between two different work sites in 2019. The CSU graduate students’ research revealed how much of an impact sleep has on worker safety

What the researchers found about fatigue and workplace safety

CSU’s researchers reviewed injury records and comparing those to the construction workers’ self-reported sleep data. This research called attention to how many construction workers suffer from insomnia or struggle with poor-quality sleep. These issues often cause cognitive impairments which led to more reckless behaviors. Naturally, the affected workers suffered more injuries than their well-rested colleagues. 

Poorly rested contractors struggled with attentiveness, especially when others were speaking. They also reported finding it challenging to remember and follow standard operating procedures that safety officials created to minimize injury risks. The researchers also determined that fatigued workers often neglected to turn off their machinery after using it, a factor that often resulted in injuries to others. 

Your right to workers’ compensation for your workplace injury

The vast majority of California employees are covered under workers’ compensation. If you’re injured at work because you’re overly fatigued or a tired co-worker made a mistake, don’t hesitate to exercise your right to those important benefits.

If you have trouble asserting your claim or your workers’ comp is unfairly denied, speaking with an experienced attorney about the issue can often make it easier to understand both your options and your rights.