NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Extended Shifts (Continued)

Lastly, Knauth and Hornberger12 recommend providing sufficient breaks. Folkard and Lombardi21 estimate that rest breaks at 2-hour rather than 4- or 6-hour intervals reduce risks for accidents and errors (see Figure 5.1).

bar graph showing the influence of frequency of rest breaks on risk for errors in 60-hour work weeks.

Figure 5.1. Estimated risks for accidents and errors are compared between two schedules for day shifts with 60 hours of work per week: six days using 10-hour shifts versus five days using 12-hour shifts. The authors estimate that breaks taken at 2-hour intervals reduce risk for accidents and errors, in comparison with breaks at 4- or 6-hour intervals. Note: Estimated risk for 12-hour shifts with breaks every 2 hours is less than for 10-hour shifts with breaks every 4 or 6 hours. (Adapted from Folkard and Lombardi.21)

Module: 5, Page 9 of 20
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2020