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Sleep Apnea and Fatigue: The Silent Killers

February 22, 2017 [Ayr, ON] –  We seem to be busier than ever these days, but time does not always allow people to keep their own health demands as important priorities. Many people do not get enough sleep to operate at their best, whether that is at work or in their personal lives. In addition, some workers feel pressured (either directly or inadvertently) to work beyond their normal limits in order to get things done.

Exhausted construction worker

However, employee fatigue on the job is not always due to a time crunch. Some workers unknowingly suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for a time while sleeping. This can occur many times during the course of a night, compromising sleep quality, and the reduction in oxygen going to the brain is detrimental to one’s heart and circulation health. Detecting and treating sleep apnea as soon as possible is very important, as many people do not even know they have a problem affecting both their quality of life and performance on the job.

Transportation

Whether you are a pilot, a train conductor, or a truck driver, you are operating a large machine capable of delivering many people or large loads of cargo at once. These vehicles can also be highly dangerous, if the operator is not paying full attention to the instruments, instructions from home base, or to other vehicles operating in the area. Fatigue resulting from sleep apnea compromises the operators’ ability to pay full attention to their responsibilities, with potentially tragic results. Two tragic train accidents in New York State were likely the result of sleep apnea, and local senators called for the enacting of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations regarding sleep apnea testing and fatigue risk management programs.

Mining

As a profession with considerable risk, mining often requires workers to pull long shifts in the 10 to 12 hour range. Miners who are tired on the job underperform in their duties and run the risk of injuring themselves. Depending on their responsibilities, this lack of attention can cause them to make errors that threaten the safety of others as well.

Construction

Construction workers are in a similar situation. Some work with heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, excavators, and cranes. Not operating this large equipment in the prescribed manner can lead to costly errors, injury, and even fatalities.

Worried that your staff may be too tired to do their work safely and efficiently? DriverCheck offers a fatigue management testing program that will check for sleep apnea and start treatment for those affected within days, allowing them to continue on in their roles. Contact us today to learn more about our diagnosis and testing procedures that can help your business attain its safety and productivity goals.