Impaired thinking can lead to workplace injuries


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Workplace Impairment

Workplace impairment occurs when a person’s ability to function normally or safely on the job is impeded. Alcohol, cannabis and prescription drug abuse can cause workplace impairment, but physical and social factors as well as mental distress can also impair thinking. 

Signs of impairment: The Office of Risk Management and Safety at Notre Dame points out that factors like fatigue, drowsiness, extreme stress, anxiety, frustration and mental distress can cause a person to lose focus, mindfulness or even outright control. There are many resources available to help you recognize the signs of workplace impairment and assist with reducing related incidents and injuries.  

Download this National Safety Council (NSC) infographic about impairment in the workforce. Learn how substance use impacts the workforce. Physical factors can be a source of impairment. Discover the cost of fatigue in the workplace and how to address it with this toolkit. Mental health and social factors may cause impairment in the workplace. Learn the costs associated with mental distress in the workplace, and see how you can promote employee mental health and well-being and support worker well-being. If you are a supervisor, register for NSC workplace impairment training for yourself or other supervisors. Find a full list of resources addressing impairment.

The University also offers a wide array of resources for faculty or staff members struggling in their work and/or personal life.

LifeWorks: Employees have access to an employee assistance program through LifeWorks for anyone dealing with a variety of personal and family challenges. Learn more at or by calling LifeWorks at 1-888-267-8126.

Campus Ministry: There are staff and faculty chaplains who can meet with anyone who is grieving, struggling or experiencing personal, family, work or other issues. Chaplains serve faculty and staff of all faiths. To talk to a chaplain, call the Office of Campus Ministry at 631-7800 or visit

Notre Dame Wellness Center: There are therapists, wellness coaches, physicians and a nutritionist at the Wellness Center who can help you focus on your mental and physical health. Schedule an appointment by calling the Wellness Center at 574-634-9355.

RecSports: Fitness classes, gym space and personal trainers are available to faculty and staff through RecSports. Learn more at

Take a quiz to receive a weekly prize, courtesy of Risk Management and Safety. Answer a couple of simple questions. All entries will be entered in the grand prize drawing for a $100 gift card.