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NIOSH efforts to prevent hazards in the workplace linked to inadequate sleep.

Caruso CC; Robison WA; Charles LE
Sleep Res Soc Bull 2013 Autumn; 19(2):20-22
Almost 15 million Americans (or 15% of full-time workers) have shift work schedules that are outside the daytime hours of 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (<a href=""target="_blank"></a>). Working at night, or at irregular hours, goes against human physiology that is hard-wired to sleep during the night and to be active during the daytime. Shift work is often dictated by society's need for vital around the clock services in public safety, healthcare, utilities, food services, manufacturing, and transportation. In addition to shift work, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2010 indicates that 19% of Americans worked 48 hours or more per week. Long work hours often do not allow enough time for sleep. National data show an increasing percent of workers are not getting enough sleep. NHIS data between 2004 and 2007 show that almost 30% of full-time American workers reported short sleep duration (< / = 6 hours per day). This is an increase from 24% reported during 1985 and 1990. Some types of workers show higher rates of short sleep duration: 34% of workers in manufacturing and 44% of those who usually worked at night. Much higher rates have been reported for night shift workers in transportation and warehousing (69.7%) and health-care and social assistance (52.3%). Shift work and long working hours are well recognized occupational hazards. Insufficient sleep is linked to errors at work and errors while driving on the commute that endanger the worker and also other people around them. Poor sleep, shift work, and long working hours are linked to a wide range of acute and chronic diseases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a long standing commitment to preventing hazards from these demanding work hours through research, guidance and authoritative recommendations, and dissemination of information to protect workers, workers' families, employers, and the community community (see <a href=""target="_blank"></a>)
Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Workers; Worker-health; Work-intervals; Shift-work; Shift-workers; Health-hazards; Work-capacity; Work-performance; Health-surveys; Health-programs; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health-programs
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Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Wholesale and Retail Trade
Source Name
Sleep Research Society Bulletin
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division