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Shift work may pose some unique risks

| Jan 5, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Not all workers are on a traditional work schedule. The need to provide services all day and night is present in many industries, and shift work is often used to meet this need. Doing shift work is very common in the United States. It is estimated that around 15 million Americans are shift workers in some regard.

Now, working non-traditional work hours, such as night shifts, can pose challenges for workers. This includes safety challenges. Research has linked shift work to certain health and safety risks.

For example, some studies have connected such work to increased risk of health troubles such as obesity and cancer.

Also, there have been studies linking such work to circadian rhythm disruptions and other fatigue risks. Fatigue is a major safety issue in workplaces, as it could put workers at increased risk for workplace accidents.

One would hope employers would be taking steps to protect workers from the risks, such as fatigue risks, that can come with shift work. However, it appears that this might not always be happening. National Safety Council estimates suggests that, on the fatigue front, it is pretty common for employers to underestimate how common workplace fatigue is and not communicate with their employees about it.

What would you like to see Illinois and Missouri companies do to help keep shift workers safe?

What can help shift workers avoid on-the-job fatigue? Some examples of things that could help include going on a walk before working and taking short breaks during work shifts.

One wonders what the future will see when it comes to efforts towards making shift work safer.

What can shift workers do when the risks connected to their job lead to them suffering injuries? One option available to most workers hurt on the job is to pursue workers’ comp benefits. Attorneys can assist injured workers with issues and disputes that arise in relation to claims for such benefits.

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