Recharge To Be In Charge – National Safety Month 2017

June is National Safety Month, and Stonehouse Signs, as a founding member of the National Safety Council (NSC,) encourages all employers and employees to participate by discussing the weekly safety topics the NSC has chosen to highlight. This week’s topic is Recharge To Be In Charge. Businesses and other organizations are welcome to use this article as a conversation tool to spur an important safety discussion with their employees.

Look for weekly articles from Stonehouse Signs highlighting the National Safety Month weekly topics, or follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter and Google + for National Safety Month tips all month long.

Stonehouse Signs National Safety Month 2017It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but more and more public health officials are advising that if businesses want their workers to be more efficient and productive, they need to focus on their worker’s sleep.

Whereas once businesses focused mostly on their worker’s safety habits during working hours, now businesses are taking a more holistic approach, realizing worker’s off-hours habits may have just as much impact – if not more – on the quality and production of work. For sleep, the CDC has declared “insufficient sleep” a public health problem, and linked it to a variety of negative outcomes, including motor vehicle crashes, workplace errors and accidents, and industrial disasters. In fact, in a recent case, a Chicago commuter train crash, which injured 32 people and caused $6 million worth of damage, was linked to poor sleep habits. And this is not an isolated workplace incident. According to the CDC, more than one-third of American adults don’t get enough sleep (7 or more hours) on a regular basis, and one-fifth of workers can be classified as “sleep deprived,” which translates to experiencing poor to extremely poor quality of sleep on an ongoing basis. And, as referenced above, poor or insufficient sleep translates to a variety of negative consequences for both the worker and the business, including a variety of health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity, and other issues that are dangerous for businesses, such as loss of memory, loss of focus and slower reaction times.

But how can workplaces address a health issue that they have no direct control over? The first step, as always, is education. The CDC encourages workplaces to provide their employees information on good sleep habits, including:

  • Stonehouse Signs Be Careful Stay Alert Dont Get Hurt SignHaving a consistent sleep schedule – i.e. going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
  • Ensuring your sleep environment is a good temperature, dark and comfortable, and removing electronics or other distractions.
  • Using your sleep area only for sleep, and not for watching TV, reading, etc.
  • How using devices such as phones, computers or tablets prior to bed can affect sleep.
  • How alcohol, caffeine consumption, large meals, nicotine or other substances can affect sleep cycles.
  • Understanding how exercise can impact sleep and sleep quality.
  • The importance of getting medical help for any potential sleep disorders. 

The CDC also recommends employers keep worker’s sleep in mind when setting work schedules, making sure workers have enough time for proper sleep between shifts, and also keeping worker’s schedules consistent when possible to accommodate regular sleeping routines. And in addition, the CDC warns employers to take extra precautions monitoring overnight shift workers, medical professionals, retail or hospitality workers, transportation workers, and any other worker who works non-regular or abnormal hours or overnight shifts.

We hope our tips will help your workplace better address worker sleep habits and how they affect your business. Join Stonehouse Signs next week as we discuss National Safety Month’s Week Three Topic, “Prepare For Active Shooters.”

Since its founding in 1863, Stonehouse Signs has produced high-quality visual communications solutions for various industries and the government. The company specializes in custom products for safety, information and accident prevention, and manufactures a full line of safety signs and facility signssafety tags, vinyl safety decals, and custom magnetic whiteboards designed for extended outdoor life, harsh environments and demanding applications. For more information contact Stonehouse Signs today.

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