Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours

Misconceptions

  • You may mistakenly think the effects of sleep deprivation can be overcome by motivation, professionalism, training, and experience.
  • Research shows that sleep-deprived persons do not always recognize a decline in their performance. This can lead to dangerous situations if they perform tasks such as driving.
Long Work Hours and Impaired Performance

As compared with 8-hour shifts, risks for accidents and errors increase the longer your shift lasts. For example,

  • Working 10-hour shifts increases the risk for accidents and errors by 13%
  • Working 12-hour shifts increases the risk for accidents and errors by 28%

Page 7 of 48

Page last reviewed: April 1, 2020