Worker Health and Wellness Office Safety Tips

NSC debuts Fatigue Cost Calculator for Employers

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Indianapolis – A U.S. employer with 1,000 workers could lose about $1.4 million annually because of the effects of sleep deficiency, and the yearly costs for an average Fortune 500 company might hover near $80 million, according to recent research from the National Safety Council and the Brigham Health Sleep Matters Initiative.

Organizations now can see their portion of those costs – and their potential savings by implementing sleep health programs – with the NSC Fatigue Cost Calculator for Employers, introduced Monday during the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo.

“Fortunately, we don’t have to tackle this issue of good sleep alone,” NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said during a press conference announcing the resource. “Employers can help us, and history has told us this is a place where employers excel. They step up. They have a long tradition of being on the front lines for safety. At [NSC], we don’t want to set up new challenges without providing tools and resources.”

Dr. Charles Czeisler, sleep expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard University, said that an estimated 40 percent of the workforce is suffering from an undiagnosed sleep-related ailment, such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia.

Sleep disorders can cause employees to miss work and experience performance and productivity issues, as well as increases in their health costs. They also can lead to work-related incidents and injuries.

With the NSC calculator, employers can look at the estimated costs of those consequences. They also can see the projected number of days their employees will lose because of absenteeism and decreased productivity, as well as return-on-investment estimates on providing sleep health programs.

“We’re really committed to trying to take on this issue and try to reduce the cost of fatigue,” Czeisler said. “We want to be able to quantify it and have people understand what those cost are.”