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The role of work schedules in occupational health and safety.
Geiger-Brown J; Lee CJ; Trinkoff AM
Handbook of occupational health and wellness. Gatchel RJ, Shultz IZ, ed. New York: Springer, 2013 Jan; :297-322
Adverse work schedules increase the risk of accidents, injuries, acute illness and chronically impaired health for workers. As society moves toward providing many services 24 h per day and 7 day per week, the need is increasing for work schedules characterized by shift work, rotating shifts, and early start times. According to the 2004 Current Population Survey, 18 % of full-time workers in the USA spend some portion of their work schedule outside of a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. time frame (McMenamin, 2007). Extended work hours (more than 8 h per day, or more than 40 h per week) also are increasing steadily (Caruso, Hitchcock, Dick, Russo, & Schmidt, 2004) for a variety of reasons. Some workers elect to take secondary employment to boost their earnings, particularly those with low wages or whose household income has decreased because of a partner's unemployment. Others choose, or are required to, work extended hours because of shift design (for example, 12-h shifts as a norm). Since the economic downturn that began in late 2008, there has been a trend for employers to use overtime to manage excess demand, which allows them to maintain productivity without hiring new workers (Maher & Aeppel, 2009). In the USA and Canada, employees work 200-300 h more per year than in France, Germany, or Sweden because of an absence of legal minimums for paid vacation days or holidays (Yelin, 2009).
Work-environment; Work-capability; Work-capacity; Workers; Work-performance; Shift-work; Shift-workers; Work-intervals
Jeanne M. Geiger-Brown PH.D, R. N., Department of Family and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201
Gatchel RJ; Schultz IZ
Handbook of occupational health and wellness
University of Maryland - Baltimore
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division