A new study published by the National Safety Council found that 43% of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need to avoid safety risks at work and while driving. In many cases, it isn’t trouble falling asleep or the light from your iPhone keeping you awake. The real culprit? Fatigue.
The survey found that 97% of Americans have at least one of the nine fatigue risk factors, which include irregular shift hours, long shifts, sleep loss and a lack of rest breaks during their work day. The study also reported that 76% of Americans admit to feeling tired at work and 44% have a hard time focusing during their shift. These numbers come as no surprise, but the study shows just how prevalent and how much of an impact fatigue has on human lives.
One interesting aspect of the study was the effects of fatigue on geographical regions. The South was identified as the highest concentrated area of people suffering from risk factors, coming in at 3.21, with the Midwest being the lowest concentration of fatigue symptoms at 2.94.
“I believe Ms. Hersman of the National Safety Council is precisely correct: these findings are indeed a ‘wake up call!’ Fatigue is a major concern among truck drivers — $16 billion and 1,400 deaths per year from untreated sleep apnea, according to the Sassani et Al study, which makes this a serious risk management issue,” says Rob Hunter, head of Industrial Markets at Aeroflow.
“Fatigue applies to anyone who turns a wheel or operates a machine or vehicle, where the consequences of workplace fatigue can be disastrous. Governmental mandates for sleep testing may or may not come to pass, but even if they don’t, it just makes sense to get tested for sleep apnea if you are suffering from one of those nine high-risk factors. In-home sleep studies are very affordable, and no one wants to be that guy who dozes at the wheel and causes a wreck.”