70% of workers are tired on the job, NSC report shows

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Itasca, IL — Nearly 7 out of 10 workers feel tired on the job – including many in the safety-sensitive industries of construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities – according to a new report from the National Safety Council.

Fatigue in Safety-Critical Industries: Impact, Risks and Recommendations, the last report in a three-part series, includes analysis of a 2017 NSC survey of employers and employees that found 69 percent of workers in all industries experience workplace fatigue. However, although 93 percent of employers consider fatigue a safety issue, only 72 percent of employees agree.

Other results:

  • 97 percent of employers in transportation say they feel the effects of fatigue, with 66 percent reporting losses in productivity and 45 percent experiencing fatigue-related safety incidents.
  • 98 percent of employers in manufacturing agree that it is unsafe to drive drowsy, compared with 77 percent of employees in the industry.
  • All construction employees report observing at least one risk factor of fatigue. Working a demanding job (77 percent) and working high-risk hours (46 percent) were most common.

“We’ve been looking at the impact of fatigue in the workplace for a long time, but it is troubling to see just how affected our safety-sensitive industries are,” Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of the fatigue initiative at NSC, said in a Sept. 25 press release. “When you’re tired, you can be deadly, and these industries are already at higher risk because of their safety-sensitive jobs. We urge employers to address fatigue risk in their workplace so all employees can be healthy and safe.”

The first two reports in the series, as well as additional information on fatigue, can be found at nsc.org/fatigue.