Both employees and employers in North Carolina have an interest in preventing a work-related accident. According to a new paper from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Science, one way to do this is by implementing a comprehensive fatigue risk management system.
It is believed that about 38 percent of workers in the United States suffer from fatigue, which can be described as feeling weary, tired or lacking energy. Additionally, fatigue is associated with many other health conditions, including both physical and mental disorders.
Not only can fatigue lead to lost efficiency in the workplace, it can also lead to accidents and injuries. According to the paper from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Science, fatigue can lead to slowed reaction times, poor judgment, distraction and loss of awareness during critical situations.
That is why the safety institution recommends that employers implement and maintain a fatigue management policy that would include indentifying and mitigating fatigue hazards in the workplace. A fatigue reporting system for employees is also advised.
In cases where fatigue does cause an accident in the workplace, it is usually possible for the worker to collect workers' compensation benefits. These benefits are available to workers who are injured while performing their jobs, no matter who may be at fault for the accident.
For example, even if a worker is hurt because of his own fatigue, the worker is still likely eligible for benefits to help cover medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses. However, it's important to file a workers' compensation claim right away after the incident as there is a time limitation.
Source: Business Insurance, "Fatigue risk management can improve workplace safety," Feb. 13, 2012