Safety in the workplace is always top of mind for employers. The benefits of a strong workplace culture of safety consciousness helps to keep productivity high, employee turnover low, and workers’ comp claims and insurance rates manageable. Workplace safety must be a priority for management as well as for staff if it is to have a real effect on your bottom line. But do you know what one of the top causes of injury on the job is? The answer, surprisingly, is simple fatigue. The latest article from All-Star Personnel will discuss the importance of your employees getting enough sleep, and what you can do as a manager to help them achieve that goal.
The Link Between Sleep and Safety
Work has been found to be the primary reason why one in three workers across the U.S. gets less-than-six hours of sleep at night. These sleep deprived employees are working more than 1.5 additional hours per day, as well as almost two additional hours on the weekends or holidays than the average worker. They start work earlier in the morning and work later into the evening. They also are more likely to have longer commutes or are working multiple jobs. Considering that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine sets the recommended amount of sleep for an adult at seven to nine hours per night, it’s not surprising that employers are seeing such a sharp correlation between lack of sleep and safety concerns on the job.
The Value of Work-Life Balance
Employees really do look to their leadership to set the tone of the company’s safety policies and work-life balance. An effective corporate safety culture is one that is a balance of corporate policy and staff-level response. Setting a strong tone of workplace safety is an important first step, but recognizing that the quality of your team’s health and well-being outside of the workplace is important, too. Encouraging workers to get the rest they need in their down time is critical, but you also need to walk the walk. Providing visible examples of how management incorporates a balanced approach to work is one way of doing this. You also want to make sure that your employee’s schedules and workloads are not providing incentive to overlook the importance of rest in your employees’ off hours.
What Can Be Done?
While it is usually up to the employees to manage their time outside of the office, as an employer there are a number of things you can do to encourage proper rest. Recognizing that long commutes and overtime can have a direct impact on your employees is important. Consider offering flexible start times or even work-from-home opportunities, particularly if your employees are suffering from overly long commutes. When workloads get to the point of requiring employees to put in extra-long hours, consider bringing on temporary support or contract workers to get the team through the sprint. These simple changes can greatly reduce worker stress and fatigue levels, and still allow you to get the work done.
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