Research shows 13 percent of workplace injuries are linked to fatigue, which you might think would catch the attention of employers. You might think a concerned employer in Ohio would consider preventive action, such as adjusting work shifts or overtime policies, to protect the physical, mental and emotional health of their workers. Well, think again.
The National Safety Council recently released "Fatigue in the Workplace: Risky Employer Practices," a study based on information compiled from 504 human resource managers. These are the same people responsible for the oversight of employee health, safety and/or shift scheduling. Yet the report found:
- 90 percent of employers claim they want to understand employee fatigue, but only 55 percent are willing to adjust schedules or tasks.
- 74 percent underestimate worker fatigue.
- 73 percent do not communicate with employees about fatigue.
- 61 percent believe employees are uncomfortable reporting when they feel too tired to perform their job safely.
- 51 percent assign night shifts immediately before or after a day shift.
- 60 percent lack designated rest areas for employees.
Other reports support the NSC findings. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences says fatigued workers suffer from lack of concentration and memory loss. Furthermore, sleepy workers are 70 percent more likely to be involved in accidents, according to The National Sleep Foundation.
Employers' attitudes put more risk on workers
Unfortunately, the attitude of employers leaves workers at risk. There is little you can do to protect yourself from a fatigue-related accident in Ohio. Your reflexes may be slowed by long hours, leading to an injury. You could be injured when a tired co-worker loses control while operating machinery. On the highway, you could be involved in a crash with a trucker who falls asleep behind the wheel.
After your accident, you may be dealing with major medical issues. You may be facing weeks or months without a paycheck, unable to support your family. At the same time, an insurance company is pressuring you into a settlement. Because they know you are desperate, they will make a financial offer for much less money than you deserve and, more importantly, much less money than you need. Adding to the tension and confusion is the complicated puzzle of workers' compensation laws. In a worst-case scenario, you are coping with the tragic loss of a loved one.
You need an advocate like the experienced workers' compensation lawyers at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. They have more than 150 years of combined experience handling cases just like yours, with offices in Dayton, Troy, Springfield and Cincinnati.