As reported on Safety+Health magazine, employers should prioritize efforts to help workers get a good night’s sleep, researchers from Colorado State University say after their study of construction workers found a connection between poor quality sleep and the risk of workplace incidents and injuries.
Construction workers from two public works departments in Portland, OR, completed three surveys over a 12-month period. The data collected, which was part of an Oregon Healthy Workforce Center study, was used to determine the respondents’ self-reported sleep quality and quantity, and was then compared with subsequent reports on safety behavior and workplace injuries.
Respondents who reported more insomnia symptoms, on average, experienced more “cognitive failures” – such as lapses in attention, memory or action – at work. More failures were related to an increase in minor injuries and a reduction in required and voluntary safety behaviors.
Among the cognitive failures: