NSC urges organizations to invest in worker sleep health

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Itasca, IL — As most parts of the country prepare to turn clocks ahead one hour this weekend, the National Safety Council is cautioning employers that workers in certain positions and industries who already have a higher risk of being drowsy may be even more tired than usual on Monday.

Shift workers, medical staff, emergency responders, military personnel, workers older than 40 and transportation professionals – especially those who work rotating or night shifts – always are at increased risk for circadian misalignment, which occurs when we force ourselves to stay awake at hours when our bodies believe we should be sleeping, according to a new report from NSC.

Research shows that fatal motor vehicle crashes increase on the Monday following the time change, the report states.

“Mondays are always tough, but this one could be deadly,” Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of the fatigue initiative at NSC, said in a press release. “We encourage employers to educate employees about the importance of sleep, and this is the perfect time of the year to implement a sleep health program. When it comes down to it, we are not at our best when we are tired.”

NSC developed the Fatigue Cost Calculator to help employers determine how much a drowsy workforce is impacting their bottom line and what can be done to help solve the problem. NSC also put together resources on fatigue for employers interested in educating their workforce about fatigue and how to get better, healthier sleep.

More information about fatigue is available at nsc.org/fatigue.