Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Sleep Apnea and Risk of Work Injury

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Obstructive sleep apnea is a fairly common sleep disorder, characterized by sufferers waking suddenly in the night, gasping for air. This is caused by the airways becoming blocked due to intermittent relaxing and blocking of the throat muscles. For some, this can happen up to hundreds of times per night, which can leave the person feeling tired and sluggish the next day. According to a study conducted by the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, people who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to become injured at work.

Researchers studied 1,236 patients at the British Colombia Hospital Sleep Laboratory between May of 2003 and July of 2011 and found the following results:

  • Of the 1,236 patients screened for obstructive sleep apnea, 994 were diagnosed with the condition; 242 were not.
  • According to data collected by WorkSafeBC, a Canadian Workers’ Compensation provider, 111 patients – or approximately nine percent of the group – suffered workplace injuries.
  • Patients with obstructive sleep apnea were twice as likely to become injured at work than those who did not suffer from sleep apnea.
  • The sleep apnea patients were three times more likely to suffer an injury from tripping, falling, or getting burned due to inattentiveness.
  • The connection between sleep apnea and workplace injuries only weakened slightly when researchers adjusted the study results to account for gender, body fat, alcohol use, and type of work.
  • Patients with severe sleep apnea had similar incidence of injuries as those who suffered from mild to moderate sleep apnea.

The associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver reports that the increased incidence of injuries in workers is most likely a result of the fragmented sleep, which leaves them feeling extremely tired during the daytime hours.

A professor from Uppsala University in Sweden who also studies sleep disorders commented that employers might want to consider screening their employees for sleep apnea, particularly in workplaces with a high risk of injury. This type of screening can help keep workers safe and avoid serious occupational injuries.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Workers

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and have been seriously injured on the job, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have the experience and knowledge to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. For a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.