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Understanding the Dangers of Worker Fatigue

Although businesses continue to experience worker shortages and recruiting challenges, a bigger risk for some companies can come from current workers becoming exhausted and overworked. Employees are desperately needed to help keep businesses afloat, but there are significant dangers that can result from worker fatigue.

In today's Aegis blog post, we discuss four of the primary dangers that come from worker fatigue, as well as ways company owners can better support their staff to minimize these risks.

Increased Risk of Injury and Accidents

By far, the biggest danger that comes from fatigued and overworked employees is the higher risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace. For example, tired employees working double shifts in restaurants may be less cautious with food handling, fire, or sharp objects in the kitchen, leading to customer accidents or worker injuries.

Also, retail workers, auto mechanics, or contractors who are exhausted might make careless mistakes or skip important security and safety protocols, such as using tools correctly, cleaning up spills, or securing all doorways and property at night. These oversights can lead to increased theft or injuries on the business site.

Poor Worker Health

Another consequence of overworked employees is the physical toll it can take on worker health. When employees work to the brink of exhaustion, the end result can be the onset of lingering health problems such as chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

Fatigued workers are less likely to get adequate sleep, eat healthier meals, or have the time to exercise. A workforce in poor health can have many more medical expenses than the average employee, which can result in higher health insurance costs for the company and employees.

Decreased Productivity

Employees with long hours and few breaks can cause the company to experience a decline in productivity. Workers might not able to get their tasks done as efficiently as they do when they're healthy and well-rested, and it can slow down business operations.

Also, when workers are fatigued and have health issues related to being overworked, they're more likely to call in sick and slow down productivity in a business. With businesses stretched thin already, it can be hard for owners and managers to find available workers to cover open shifts and tasks for those who are out sick or hurt.

Higher Company Costs

Finally, companies with tired and overworked employees can face higher costs in addition to staffing shortages. Avoidable mistakes and accidents can cost the company money for damaged equipment or lost products, and data entry mistakes can lead to costly security breaches, inventory gaps, and vendor delays.

Also, companies may also have higher health insurance costs for the business and employees, they can face customer liability claims related to accidents and injuries on the commercial site, and they may see an increase in Workers Compensation claims for employees hurt on the job.

What Companies Can Do to Help Workers

There are several ways companies can better support their workforce to ensure they're not being overworked and experiencing fatigue on the job. Company management can accomplish this through:

  • Slight adjustments to operating hours
  • Offering hiring incentives to boost staff numbers
  • Adding wellness benefits to health insurance coverage
  • Encouraging employees to take full breaks
  • Regularly reviewing employee availability and schedules to account for changes
  • Get regular employee feedback to learn about ongoing issues or concerns

How Aegis Can Help

Aegis Insurance & Financial Services proudly partners with companies across the Gulf Coast region to ensure they have the Business Insurance coverage needed to protect their business and its employees. With their people and property well protected, company owners can focus instead on hiring and growth.

For companies interested in learning more about our full range of Commercial Insurance policy options, contact Aegis at 713-850-7622 for more information, or fill out our online form to request a free quote!

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