Safety & HCM Post

Overworked, Fatigued Workers Are a Liability Time Bomb

The recession is grinding down your workforce. Workers see their buddies get laid off and wait for the other shoe to drop. Meanwhile, they’re working their butts off to pick up the slack. Some nights they get so worn out they can barely keep their eyes open. But they drive home anyway.

Just suppose one of those workers were to nod off behind the wheel and slam into a minivan. The lawyers would descend in an instant. Once they figured out that the driver has no money, they’d come after you. And they’d have a darned good case.

Is Overworking Workers a Safety Violation?

A while back I did some research and found some cases where employers were found negligent for letting workers they knew were too tired to drive get behind the wheel. It happened in Oregon in 1995 and Texas in 2006.

It hasn’t happened in Canada. But it will. Courts have already held employers responsible for accidents caused by workers driving drunk after a company party. All that’s waiting to extend the theory to fatigue is the right case. And with all the overworked workers driving on the roads, that case will emerge.

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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