October 2019 Safety Coach: The Right Tools for the Right Job

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Safety Coach
Never Rest on Fatigue

Engage employees in a safety exercise designed to illustrate the importance of sleep health and to highlight workplace safety risks associated with fatigue, including drowsy driving.

Pose this question: If you were given an extra hour each day, how would you spend it? Possible answers:

  • Catching up on email
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Spending time with family/kids
  • Volunteering
  • Working out

Did anybody suggest sleeping for that extra hour? Experts agree adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day to reach peak performance levels. Yet, research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 18% of adults in the U.S. sleep less than seven hours and 2% sleep less than four hours.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied the relationship between sleep and risk of crash involvement for a first-of-its-kind report. Compared to drivers who said they had slept at least their usual amount in the past 24 hours, drivers who said they had slept:

  • 1-2 hours less than usual had 1.3 times the crash rate
  • 3-4 hours less than usual had 2.1 times the crash rate
  • 4 or more hours less than usual had 10.2 times the crash rate

Crashes remain the No. 1 cause of workplace fatalities. Crashes that occur on and off the job impact every employer’s bottom line through costs associated with insurance premiums and lost work days. The National Safety Council Fatigue at Work Employer Toolkit helps employers address safety risks in the workplace. Download the free kit to get materials to use at your location, including:

  • Posters and tip sheets
  • Digital presentations
  • 5-minute safety talks

Nearly 13% of workplace injuries may be attributed to fatigue. Experts from NSC and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed a tool that estimates workplace costs linked to sleep deficiencies. Get the NSC Fatigue Cost Calculator to measure the impact at your location.

Spend your time delivering a safety talk that promotes sleep health.

Educate employees on risks of opioid use.

Tailgate Talk
Prescription for Safety

When people think about impaired driving, they think about driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. But impairment also can be caused by medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Some, including opioids prescribed to relieve pain, can cause dizziness and fatigue.

Get the free Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit from the National Safety Council and take steps to address safety issues at your organization. The kit will help you:

  • Understand opioids and how they impact job performance and your bottom line
  • Recognize the signs of impairment
  • Educate employees on risks of opioid use
  • Incorporate the right elements into drug-related HR policies and procedures
  • Support employees who are struggling with opioid misuse or opioid use disorder

This free toolkit includes sample policies, fact sheets, 5-minute safety talks, posters and videos, and is intended to assist you in implementing your own workplace safety program.

Drug-impaired driving incidents are on the rise.

In fact, more than half of drivers admitted to U.S. trauma centers following crashes tested positive for drugs other than alcohol, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and 1 in 4 tested positive for marijuana. Much like alcohol, medications can slow reaction time, cloud judgment and decrease hand-eye coordination, all skills necessary for safe driving and efficiency at work.

What is the real cost of substance use in your workforce? Use the NSC Substance Use Cost Calculator to find out.