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Worker fatigue makes dangerous jobs even more dangerous

On-the-job fatigue can be a problem for workers in West Palm Beach in many different jobs. Being tired at work can be a safety risk in any industry, but it is especially dangerous for workers in jobs that are dangerous to begin with. A new report from the National Safety Council finds that 69 percent of workers feel tired at work, but employers, rather than workers, may have a better understanding of the impact fatigue can have.

The NSC report summarizes the results of two surveys on the topic of fatigue in safety-critical industries. One survey was of employers and the other was of employees. According to the analysis of the surveys, only 72 percent of workers recognize fatigue on the job as a safety concern while 90 percent of employers do.

In the transportation industry, 97 percent of employers recognized the impact of fatigue on their organizations. Workers in the transportation industry cited long hours and sleep loss as common causes of fatigue in their jobs. In the construction industry, 100 percent of workers reported that they have experienced at least one fatigue risk factor.

Another study of American and United Kingdom workers found that 94 percent of American workers experience work-related stress and fatigue. Stress, fatigue, burnout and chronic health problems can cause workers to be distracted. Stress can cost employers money in lost productivity and harm workers' health, potentially leading to anxiety, depression or other medical problems.

On-the-job injuries or illnesses are usually covered by workers' compensation insurance. Florida law imposes time limits for making workers' compensation claims. Someone who is injured on the job has 30 days to report the injury to his or her employer. If an initial workers' compensation claim is denied, a worker then has two years to file a formal petition for benefits.

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