Night shifts and irregular hours may lead to workplace injuries

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have conducted a study, which suggests that employees who work late nights and rotating shifts are more likely to injure themselves on the job.

The scientists examined data on more than 30,000 Canadian workers over a ten-year period, and found that while overall job-related injuries have decreased, employees working odd hours are still hurting themselves more often.

Authors of the study attributed this effect to a lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns experienced by those who work at night or on rotating shifts. Additionally, they noted that these injuries were more prevalent in women, perhaps because many women are also responsible for childcare and other household chores.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfatal workplace injuries account for nearly 1 million missed days of work per year. Accidents at work also cause more than 4,000 deaths yearly, the bureau reports.

“Regulatory agencies and employers need to consider policies and programs to help reduce the risk of injuries among shift workers,” said Chris McLeod, co-author of the study and research associate at UBC.

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