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How Worker Fatigue Harms the Bottom Line

Studies show that an overworked and overtired workforce will ultimately cost the company money.

As a safety professional, you need to be aware of the dangers of workplace fatigue and warn company management to consider the economic impact of driving workers too hard. But you’ll need solid evidence to support your argument.

There are two studies published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) you can use: one is on the relationship between fatigue and health-related lost productive time, and the other links weekly work schedules of 60 or more hours to health and safety problems.

Fatigue in the Workforce

Workers suffering from fatigue—physical and mental—are not only less productive and more prone to illness but also more distracted and thus more likely to be involved in a safety incident. For example, studies show that fatigued workers are more than twice as likely to experience health-related lost productive time. One study found that 37.9% of U.S. workers experience fatigue, costing companies approximately $136 billion in lost productivity.


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