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Shift and night work and long working hours – a systematic review of safety implications

Objective In order to devise effective preventive strategies, it is important to study workplace stressors that might increase the risk of workplace accidents − both affecting workers themselves as well as causing harm to third-parties. The aim of this report is to provide a systematic, updated overview and scientific review of empirical research regarding accidents in relation to long work hours and shift work, primarily based on epidemiological studies. Methods The search for articles was part of a large review study on the effects of work hours on various health outcomes, safety, and performance. The search strategy included 5 international scientific databases, and nearly 7000 articles were initially identified using our search string. Following the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 443 publications were found and evaluated using a pre-defined scoring system. Of these, 43 concerned safety and accidents but only 14 were considered to be of high quality (total score 2 or 3 on a scale from 0−3) and therefore used for this study. Results Both shift work and long working hours present a substantial and well-documented detrimental effect on safety − all the studies that are included in this review have one or more significant findings in this...

Wagstaff, Anthony Sverre; Lie, Jenny-Anne Sigstad
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 37(3): 173–185
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