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Some Pennsylvania companies may lay off employees and then require the workers who remain employed to increase productivity. If this is your situation, you might find yourself feeling exhausted or fatigued — especially if you are working a night shift. If you suffer a workplace injury because of fatigue or a lack of sleep, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. 

In a 2016 RAND corporation study, researchers found that insufficient sleep leads to an annual loss of about $411 billion from the total U.S. economy. As reported by Safety & Health, an official publication of the National Safety Council, when employees do not get enough sleep, it results in reduced productivity and a decrease in work performance. 

Companies are legally obligated to manage workplace fatigue under the rules set by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Employers may reduce worker fatigue by ensuring the availability of ample staff to cover shifts and providing more rest breaks. 

Training employees to recognize the symptoms of fatigue may also help. Some symptoms include impaired memory, problems with judgment and concentration, dropping things, headaches, stomachaches and difficulty keeping eyes focused. 

Many workers mistakenly believe sleepiness is a normal condition of working; an estimated 13% of workplace injuries, however, result from a lack of sleep. If an on-the-job injury occurs while any of the symptoms of lack of sleep or fatigue are present, you may apply for workers’ compensation benefits. 

To be eligible for benefits, you must have suffered the injury while carrying out your regular tasks in a reasonable manner. Pennsylvania employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance and also provide all the necessary paperwork to apply. 

The information provided is for educational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.