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Short staffing and worker fatigue can be hazardous at work

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

This year, many people are out of work for a variety of reasons. With the economy struggling, children going to school virtually in some places and workers trying to find better-paying jobs, some workplaces are short-staffed.

Being short-staffed is more than a frustration. It can actually make it more likely for workers to be hurt or even killed while on the job as they try to keep up with the demand of a position that requires more workers than are available.

Short-staffing issues are dangerous, which is why employers need to address them as soon as possible. Overworking the employees who do come in can lead to burnout as well as exhaustion and illness or injuries from overwork.

Short-staffing is a problem in many industries

Short staffing creates a problem for a number of different industries including health care, industrial industries, construction and others. Unfortunately, what short-staffing does is place a heavier burden on those who do go to work. For example, a nurse who once only saw six patients an hour may now need to see 10, which means that they may not be with them as often or be able to take a break during the shift.

In factories, being short-staffed may mean increasing the speed of the work that needs to be done, which can lead to mistakes being made as well as an increased risk of injuries from repetitive strain.

Even in an office, not having enough workers could lead to stress-related injuries, long hours, exhaustion and illness.

How can workers protect themselves against overwork injuries?

It’s important for workers who will have long shifts or overtime to place a focus on making time to relax, eat well and get enough sleep. Long work hours can increase the risk of injury, so workers who are too tired or exhausted to continue with their work should consider taking a break, resting or staying home. Safety has to come first.

Decreased alertness can lead to serious mistakes and injuries, so worker fatigue has to be taken seriously. If you do get hurt because of being overworked, then you may be able to seek workers’ compensation.

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