You are no stranger to late nights. Whether you stay up binge-watching a TV series, trying to reach one more level on your favorite game or simply tossing in bed trying to relax, you pay for it the next day. No amount of coffee can compensate for those lost hours of sleep. While you may stay up late once in a while, many people never get enough sleep.
Did you notice a difference in your production during those shifts following a night of little sleep? Did you make more mistakes or have more close calls? You are not alone, and chances are that among your co-workers are some who perform their jobs while chronically fatigued. If you work construction, distribution or another industry that requires your undivided attention, someone's lack of sleep can place you in danger.
Recognizing workplace fatigue
Working overnight shifts or shifts of 12 hours a day can cause a significant increase in your chances of suffering an injury on the job. Imagine how much risk exists when you work one of these dangerous shifts after sleeping only a few hours. You may be aware that someone upon whom you depend at work has not had enough sleep. Some of the signs may include any of the following:
- Moodiness or grumpiness
- Weak or achy muscles
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of appetite
- Slow reflexes
- Difficulty making decisions
- Difficulty staying focused on the task
Sleepiness or lack of motivation to work may be obvious signs of fatigue, but if you notice these regularly in a co-worker, that employee may be spiraling into a pattern of poor habits that could affect everyone in the workplace. You depend on your co-workers to remain focused and on top of their game, especially if they are handling hazardous materials, operating heavy equipment or looking out for each other's safety as you work together.
Workplace accidents resulting in injuries can occur at any time in any industry for many reasons. Fatigue among employees is a growing concern because it seems to contribute to preventable accidents more frequently in recent years. If you suffer injuries in such a workplace accident, it is important that you understand your rights and your options for seeking the compensation you deserve. Reaching out to a Pennsylvania attorney with experience in workers' compensation issues is a wise move.