We live in a culture of #BeastMode. We praise high-powered CEO's who work around the clock, push ourselves to exhaustion on the daily, use social media to busy our minds, and burn the candle at both ends to meet our obligations to family, friends and everything in between. The problem with this, is that exhaustion is simply dangerous. Those living with chronic exhaustion experience more injuries, more chronic illnesses, and more stress in their lives. As a South Carolina Law Firm committed to serving others and helping the lives of injured parties return to normal as quickly as possible after an accident, we see the wide range of accidents that can be spurred on by sleep deprivation. Run a business? Manage others? Here are a few things to consider about how your employee's wellness can impact the bigger picture. And they might be eligible for a workers comp lawsuit...
1. Tired people injure themselves at work.
A recent study suggests that lack of sleep directly correlates injuries in the workplace; exhaustion causes approximately 274,000 injuries at work in the US alone each year. Also, it is believed that over one-third of Americans face their day on less than the recommended amount of sleep. That means, there's a good chance the driver of your child's school bus, the construction worker with the crane, and the person on the machinery line with you may all be exhausted at any given moment. Whether one works in a high-risk field or an office, our body and circumstance can all work against us at any time.
Thomas J. Balkin, vice chair of the National Sleep Foundation, states studies show that "fatigue creates long-lasting changes to one's ability to think and function well during the work day." In short? The more tired employees are, the more they increase their chance of a work-related injury. Which means more workers' comp claims and more dollars paid out across the country.
2. Tired people pose a greater risk to others on the job.
Would you want to be operated on by a sleep-deprived doctor? Would you want your child driven to school by a bus driver who was tired and surviving on energy drinks? Would you want your parent in the nursing home to be cared for by an employee who'd pulled an all-nighter… every day of the last week? People not only injure themselves but have the capacity to do great harm to others when exhausted. A sleep-deprived individual is more likely to cause an accident on the job, that someone else is more than likely going to pay the price for. Service providers are trusted with a duty of care to act in a reasonable and safe manner; when they don't do this, liability for accidents increases along with the chances that an injured party will need a personal injury attorney.
3. Tired people get behind the wheel.
As a South Carolina personal injury law firm, we see firsthand the role that tired and distracted play in causing accidents every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported car crashes are the explicit result of driver fatigue every ear. Resulting in over 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries. Tired drivers have a reduced reaction time and show worse judgment behind the wheel. In a recent year, over 60 people lost their lives in South Carolina due to a distracted driver-- do you know the states in your neck of the woods?
The need for sleep goes far beyond "grumpy morning syndrome" to be dangerous for those that are tired, and those that live and work with them. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by someone suffering from sleep deprivation, chances are they'll bear liability (or at least some degree of partial liability) for injuries sustained. For more legal and safety tips related to workers comp, visit the Law Help Resources Page on our website.