Safety and OSHA News

1 in 3 workers don’t get enough sleep

Pick any three employees at your company. Chances are, one of them is sleep deprived. And the chances increase for certain industries and among employees who work night and irregular schedules. And most people would not want to take the chance that these sleepy workers will injure themselves or others.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 30% of civilian employed U.S. adults (about 40.6 million workers) reported they get six or less hours of sleep per day, based on 2010 data. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

Here are some other stats from the survey:

  • The rate for workers in manufacturing was higher (34%)
  • Those who usually worked the night shift had a much higher rate of short sleep duration (44%) compared to those who worked day shift (28%) or those who worked other or irregular shifts (32%)
  • 70% of night shift workers in transportation and warehousing are sleep deprived
  • 52% of night shift workers in healthcare and social assistance reported sleep deprivation
  • Workers ages 30-64 are more likely to miss out on sleep (32%) than their younger (26.5%) or older (22%) counterparts
  • Workers with more than one job are more sleep deprived (37%) than those with just one job (29%), and
  • 36% of people who work more than 40 hours a week miss out on the recommended amount of sleep compared to those who work 40 hours or less (28%).

The CDC recommends two ways to counter sleepy workers who can be a safety risk:

  • Use shift system designs that improve sleep opportunities for employees, and
  • educate employees about the importance of getting enough sleep and the ways they can do that.

Do workers scoff at the idea that not getting enough sleep can be dangerous? Tell them this: Medical experts say getting the right amount of sleep is as important to general health as a good diet and exercising.

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  1. Where I work -EVERYBODY IS SLEEP DEPRIVED! I am begining to think that sleep (as recommended in the article) is a comodity for the American working class.
    After conducting a survey on the subject we may even include it on our safety program.
    Now my question is: if I have an accident at work for lack of sleep whose fault is it?

  2. I agree with you Gigi. I have a very young workforce and I operate on three shifts 7 days a week. These younger employees play hard and they often come to work visually tired. We have a random drug and alcohol policy so they know it is not a good choice to come to work under the influence but you do hear them talking about driving all night coming home from the mountains. Sleep is a comodity fro the working class. Business talks about a work life balance but rarely do they deliver.

    To answer your question, IMO, it falls on the employee unless the employee reports being fatigued and the employer is willing to accomodate such a request. I would send them home

  3. Thanks Paul.
    I guess sleep is for many a waste of time compare to work work work or fun fun fun. Hope your guys survive both.

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