NJ workplace injuries can result from carelessness, poor training, or repetitive activities. The nearly endless causes of employee accidents and injuries are often dependent on the type of work environment and duties of an employee. However, there is one cause of NJ workplace injuries that span offices, factories, construction sites, and hospitals, and that is fatigue.
In a hospital, where doctor and nurses are working ten, twelve, and fifteen-hour shifts, it is easy to recognize how fatigue plays a roll in NJ workplace injuries. But accidents arising from fatigue and sleepiness are also common in workplaces where the shifts are shorter and physical demands lower. Here are five ways fatigue is impacting a variety of workplaces in NJ.
#1: Fatigue Isn’t Always Tied to Sleep
We generally connect fatigue with a lack of sleep or rest, but studies have shown that this isn’t always the case when it comes to NJ workplace injuries. Fatigue can be caused by intense physical labor, long hours in front of a computer, an intense mental task, or even social interactions. Environmental factors, medical conditions, and physically demanding work are all underlying reasons for a tired employee.
As well, there is evidence to suggest that it is actually these aspects of the workplace that cause more accidents than sleepiness. Jobs are demanding more of employees outside traditional office hours and requiring a high-level of mental or physical dedication. As more is required of employees outside the office or salaries drive NJ employees to take a second job, the likelihood of NJ workplace injuries goes up.
#2: Fatigue Leads to Accident-Prone Activity
All of the medical and behavioral research into fatigue draws the same conclusions on how fatigue can impact our mental and physical capabilities and activity. According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, fatigue lowers reaction times, decreases cognitive capabilities, and lowers the attention span. All of these outcomes from fatigue are the underlying reasons why fatigue is so likely to lead to NJ workplaces injuries.
#3: Fatigue Is Statistically Tied to More Accidents
The numbers around fatigue in the workplace paint a clear picture of the dangers and risks when employees are fatigued. To be more exact, workplace injuries and accidents are 2.9 times more likely when workers are fatigued. That is a huge jump in the number of trips, slips, falls, machines and equipment injuries, and motor vehicle accidents that occur in the workplace.
As well, the numbers from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) indicate that fatigue can also make workplace-related deaths more likely. Fatigue can lead to very costly mistakes by employees working as electricians, machinists, or on assembly lines.
#4: Companies Can Address Fatigue
There are certain NJ workplace injuries that are beyond the control of any one individual or company. For example, if a machine malfunctions there isn’t a company policy or training that could’ve prevented the accident. Yet, fatigue and the accidents that result from fatigue are very different to an unforeseen or unknowable workplace injury.
Fatigue can be limited or solved by appropriate workplace policies and procedures. A company can shorten shifts, put limits on the use of company laptops and cell phones after hours, or restrict the use of machinery when sleepy, tired, or overworked. These policies can also increase employee retention and happiness at work and improve the corporate culture. Plus, addressing fatigue at the company level is cost-effective.
#5: Fatigue Accidents Are Under Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation laws in NJ cover nearly every and all accidents that occur in the workplace. This can include NJ workplace injuries caused by employee recklessness or fatigue. Even if the employee is tired or fatigued for reasons unrelated to work, workers’ compensation still covers the medical costs and applicable disability benefits.
If you were injured at work because of fatigue, being overworked, or lack of sleep, then you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Any employee or insurance company that attempts to dissuade you from pursuing workers’ compensation or attempts to limit your recovery based on fatigue, is wrong. To learn more about fatigue and how the condition relates to NJ workplace injuries, contact the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone. You can reach our NJ office by calling (856) 234-4023.