If one of your employees is sleeping on the job, he may actually be doing you a favor. Lack of adequate sleep is a major risk factor for injuries, errors, and chronic diseases. In fact, ‘shiftwork sleep disorder’ has been deemed a carcinogen because of the increased risk of breast cancer.
Those most at risk are workers with frequent overnight shifts, rotating shifts, or early morning start times. While you may not be able to change the need for workers on shifts other than daytimes, there are strategies you can take that can help employees be less fatigued and save you significant amounts of money.
The Sobering Stats
Employers and payers are likely unaware of the stunning costs associated with workplace fatigue. Here are the numbers for a hypothetical Florida construction company with 800 workers:
• Decreased productivity: $590,463
• Absenteeism: $249,962
• Healthcare: $458,075
The National Safety Council’s Fatigue Cost Calculator also estimates the number of employees likely suffering from specific sleep risks at this sample company:
• Obstructive sleep apnea: 101
• Insomnia: 69
• Restless Legs Syndrome: 40
• Shift work disorder: 1
‘Shiftwork sleep disorder’ occurs when a person’s internal clock becomes misaligned with his sleep/wake schedule due to shift work. Those affected may experience excessive sleepiness during night work and/or insomnia during daytime sleep.
The good news is the potential savings from taking simple actions to mitigate all these conditions are $625,250.