A study indicates that individuals with sleep apnea may be more likely to be injured at work due to difficulties getting sufficient amounts of sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition where people's airways become blocked or collapse, which causes them to wake up. This may occur many times a night, although people may not always remember being woken up.
A Canadian study looked at approximately 1,200 sleep clinic patients. Researchers found that those who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea were twice as likely as those without this condition to be injured at work. The frequency was even higher for injuries caused by inattentiveness or a lack of diligence.
Researchers attribute the problem to people not getting enough sleep, which makes them less aware of what is going on around them. It was determined that the average rate of injury for those with sleep apnea did not change significantly depending on whether someone had a severe or mild case. There was, however, a slight weakening in the correlation between sleep apnea and accidents when things like age, gender, body fat and alcohol use were factored in.
People who are injured at work as a result of an existing condition may still be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. These benefits can include a replacement of a portion of wages that are lost during the recovery period as well as medical treatment. An attorney can often be helpful in ensuring that the claim contains all requisite supporting documentation and is timely filed.