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Fatigue and workers' compensation claims

Fatigue at work is a common culprit for many workplace injuries in Missouri. A survey by the National Safety Council found that 69 percent of those surveyed felt fatigued at work.

Workers employed doing shift work where safety is a critical factor are most at risk for fatigue-related injuries. Another survey found that 97 percent of employers in the transportation industry realized that fatigue is a serious concern. Workers in the transportation industry cited long shifts and sleep loss as risk factors.

Employers can help improve safety by making sure that workers are familiar with the signs and risks associated with fatigue. Some employees may be at risk for ignoring their own symptoms, which places them at greater risk of injuring themselves or placing other workers at risk. Manager training on intervention when the signs of fatigue are present can help prevent a serious workplace accident.

Stress is another risk factor when it comes to worker safety and is a contributing factor for employee fatigue. Stress is associated with an increased risk of burnout, health problems, absenteeism and accidents. Considering that stress causes an estimated $450 to $550 billion annually in lost productivity at work, it is a problem that employers cannot afford to ignore.

Workers who have been injured on the job may be eligible to file for workers' compensation. An attorney may assist workers with the process by explaining filing deadlines, the process for getting medical treatment and appealing denied claims.

The costs after a workplace accident can be devastating to the worker's family and may include medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation costs. The injured worker does not have to prove who was at fault to file a workers' compensation claim but must demonstrate that the injury was work-related. An attorney may be able to assist injured workers gather evidence to meet their burden of proof.

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