Is Lack of Sleep Making You Dangerous on the Job?
Florida construction workers are well-acquainted with the hazards of the construction industry. Just one misplaced step on a sweltering summer day can lead to a serious accident.
Construction work is inherently dangerous. When workers operate on too little sleep, the danger level ratchets up even higher.
West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyers know that construction professionals are among the most hardworking employees in any industry. The dangers on work sites make it especially important to get adequate rest.
The Perils of Construction Work
Search any list of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. and you will find construction near the top every time. Construction-related occupations, such as roofing and steel work, also make the list of the deadliest and most dangerous jobs in the country.
Construction professionals who perform road work are also at risk for injuries and fatal accidents. In 2010, there were more than 87,000 motor vehicle crashes in highway work zones.
The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation on Construction Sites
Construction work is dangerous enough on its own. When construction workers try to perform their duties on too little sleep, they court disaster.
Because construction work regularly requires workers to operate heavy equipment, handle complex machinery, and scale tall buildings and structures, workers have to be alert at all times.
Sleep deprivation can make anyone underperform on the job. For a desk worker, this might mean dozing off in front of a computer. For a construction worker, it can be life-threatening.
Transportation accidents: Construction workers frequently operate heavy machinery, including large trucks. Almost 4,000 Americans die in large truck crashes every year.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, worker fatigue is a leading factor in these accidents.
Human error: Much of the equipment on a typical construction site is dangerous, but the risk of an injury is lower when an operator is trained to use the equipment in a safe manner.
Unfortunately, proper training can only go so far when a worker is unreasonably tired. Harvard researchers point out that sleep deprivation has been linked to some of the biggest disasters in history, including the Challenger space shuttle explosion, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the nuclear meltdowns at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
Falls: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies falls as a leading cause of construction-related injuries every year. In 2004 alone, falls were a factor four out of 10 times in OSHA citations.
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
If you feel like you can never get quite enough sleep, you’re definitely not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says sleep deprivation is a public health problem, with somewhere between 50 and 70 million Americans suffering from some type of sleep or wakefulness disorder.
So how much sleep do you really need? The CDC recommends seven to eight hours for most adults, however, people who work in physically strenuous and demanding jobs may require more.
You Are Still Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When Florida construction workers are injured on the job, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You can still qualify for these benefits, even if you are at fault for your injury. This means you can still receive workers’ compensation, even if sleep deprivation caused you to have an accident at work.
Obviously, it’s always best to start your work day after a full night’s rest. If lack of sleep contributes to an on-the-job injury, however, it’s nice to know you can still get the compensation you need to cover your bills while you recover.
West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured on a construction site or at any type of workplace, you have important rights. Protect your rights by speaking to a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer today.