Cost of Fatigue to Employers


Indianapolis – A U.S. employer with 1,000 workers could lose about $1.4 million annually because of the effects of sleep deficiency, and the yearly costs for an average Fortune 500 company might hover near $80 million, according to recent research from the National Safety Council and the Brigham Health Sleep Matters Initiative.

Organizations now can see their portion of those costs – and their potential savings by implementing sleep health programs – with the NSC Fatigue Cost Calculator for Employers, introduced Monday during the 2017 National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

Dr. Charles Czeisler, sleep expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard University, said that an estimated 40 percent of the workforce is suffering from an undiagnosed sleep-related ailment, such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia.

Sleep disorders can cause employees to miss work and experience performance and productivity issues, as well as increases in their health costs. They also can lead to work-related incidents and injuries.

According to the CDC, despite a common diagnosis, the functional capacity of individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) varies greatly. Some persons with CFS lead relatively normal lives; others are totally bed-ridden and unable to care for themselves. For the majority of persons with CFS, work, school, and family activities are significantly reduced for extended periods of time. Persons report critical reductions in levels of physical activity. Also, a reduction in the complexity of activity has been observed.

With the NSC calculator, employers can look at the estimated costs of those consequences. They also can see the projected number of days their employees will lose because of absenteeism and decreased productivity, as well as return-on-investment estimates on providing sleep health programs.