43 Percent of Americans Admit They're Too Tired to Function at Work

The National Safety Council conducted a survey that found 97 percent of respondents report at least one risk factor for fatigue.

According to a new National Safety Council survey-based report, almost half of Americans do not get enough sleep to safely perform the duties assigned to them by their employer.

The survey found that 43 percent of Americans say they do not get enough sleep to mitigate critical risks that can jeopardize safety at work and on the roads, including the ability to think clearly, make informed decisions, and be productive.

Eighty-one percent of the probability-based survey respondents have jobs that are at high risk for fatigue – positions that require sustained attention or are physically or cognitively demanding, such as driving a vehicle or working at a construction site.

Perhaps one of the most startling statistics found by the survey is that 97 percent of Americans say they have at least one of the leading nine risks factors for fatigue, which include working at night or early in the morning, working long shirts without regular work breaks, working more than 50 hours each week, and enduring long commutes. Seventy-six percent of workers say they feel tired at work, 53 percent feel less productive, and 44 percent have trouble focusing.

According to the NSC, fatigue impacts most Americans and can lead to disaster all too often. A person who has lost two hours of sleep from a normal eight-hour sleep schedule could be as impaired as a person who has consumed up to three beers.  

"These findings are a literal wake-up call: When we're tired, we can put ourselves and others at risk," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "We hope Americans recognize that impairment stems not just from alcohol and drugs, but lack of restorative rest – fitness for duty starts with getting a good night's sleep."

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