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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
Handbook of occupational health and wellness
University of Maryland - Baltimore
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division