Night work can damage your health
Date: 7 April 2011
Workers on nightshift are three times more likely to have a work related accident than their colleagues on day shift and twice as likely to have a car accident on the way home following their shift.
These are the shocking findings of a study
from The Young Foundation who observed night workers, asked
questions and listened to their experiences.
Approximately 1.5 million people work nights
and the study found them to be “a vulnerable workforce, poorly
supported whose members are mainly unaware of the risks they face
on a nightly basis”.
The Working Time Regulations (WTR) identifies
night workers as those who regularly work at least three hours
between 11pm and 6am, and restrict their shifts to an average of
eight hours in each 24-hour period. Unfortunately, as this is
averaged over a 17-week period, many people work night shifts of up
to 12 or 13 hours per night.
The Young Foundation wants changes to the
WTR to limit night shifts to a maximum of eight hours, along
with clear guidelines on overtime.
With growing medical research highlighting the
potential health implications associated with working at night,
including higher risks of developing breast and other forms of
cancer the HSE is due to report later in the year on its own
investigation into the links between night work and breast cancer.
The Young Foundation believes more work is needed to publicise the
wider health and safety risks of night-shift working to both
employers and employees.
Rough nights: The growing dangers of working at night
also includes a section offering advice and tips for night