During Sleep Awareness Week, an annual campaign sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is highlighting the importance of getting enough sleep and its correlation to safety at work. The Agency says a growing number of American workers are not getting enough sleep, which can lead to reduced productivity and an increase in errors.
NIOSH offers tips to help reduce the effects of fatigue in the workplace:
- Allow at least 10 consecutive hours per day of off-duty time for workers to get 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Provide frequent rest breaks during demanding work.
- Adjust shift lengths to either five 8-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts.
- Schedule one or two full days of rest to follow five consecutive 8-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts.
- Train workers to be aware of the demands of shiftwork and to know what resources are available if they have difficulties.
- Examine near-misses and incidents to determine if fatigue played a role.