The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

Insomnia related workplace accident is costly

Not sleeping enough? North Carolina residents should consider hitting the snooze button more often as insomnia may be becoming one of the many causes of workplace injury. A recent study found that this chronic condition was associated with 7.2 percent of all costly workplace accidents.

Harvard Medical School's study suggests that the next great public health crisis may have to do with the lack of sleep. This lack of sleep may also become the next great business opportunity. The average cost of insomnia related workplace accidents and mistakes is a little over $32,000. The cost incurred by these types of accidents is around 50 percent more than any other accident.

During the study, a research team conducted a telephonic survey of more than 5,000 commercially insured health plan members. Also, insomnia was compared with 18 other chronic conditions. The results were chronicled in the Archives of General Psychiatry. One of those results is a statistic that shows that the annual number of workplace accidents and mistakes attributed to insomnia has been estimated at 274,000.

The Center for Disease Control also estimates that one in three Americans are not sleeping enough. In addition, a confirmation of the fact that insomnia is strongly associated with costly accidents is evident by an expectant increase in sleep disorder clinics and sleep coaches. There will also be an increase in suggestions made to employers for increasing worker's sleep.

Even though one of the goals of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to increase the number of adults getting enough sleep by 2020, workplace accidents may continue to take place in the meantime. North Carolina workers should attempt to get enough sleep at night not only to go to work well rested and alert, but also to make their workplace a safer one.

Source: CBS DC, "Study: Insomnia Costs Employers $32 Billion In Workplace Accidents," Oct. 10, 2012

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