If you’re one of many American workers who work the night shift, you may have increased risks for accidents, injuries and illnesses. Working the night shift is linked to a variety of workplace accidents and health problems that may pose serious consequences.
According to the Bureau of Labor, approximately 15 million people work the night shift in the United States. Health research studies show that long hours and other factors associated with night shift jobs contribute to increased health and safety problems. Research and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that workers who work night shifts for prolonged periods of time have a higher risk of work-related injuries, as well as developing mental health disorders, obesity and eating disorders, and cancer from asbestos exposure pittsburgh pa.
Working the night shift disrupts circadian rhythms, your body’s 24-hour internal clock. These rhythms are sensitive to light and temperature changes that help your body determine the difference between day and night. They play a significant role in your body’s physical and mental health and establish good cognitive functions. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, physical, mental, and cognitive functions are impaired. This often results in insomnia, chronic fatigue, memory loss, slow reactions, poor critical thinking skills, lack of good judgment, anxiety, and depression. In many night shift jobs, these impairments can put you at a much greater risk of on-the-job accidents and injuries.
Labor studies show that the majority of American workers who work the night shift are in blue collar jobs such as food services, automotive plants, industrial warehouses, fabrication services, and various labor positions. Workers in these types of jobs often face serious injuries from heavy equipment, machinery malfunctions, chemical spills, flammable liquids, asbestos exposure pittsburgh pa, and falls from ladders and cranes.
If you work the night shift, you may not be able to change to a day job, but it’s important to protect yourself from accidents, injuries and illnesses that can have long-term consequences on your health. Make sure your workplace provides required safety equipment to prevent problems.