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Shift workers at higher risk for injury: study

November 4, 2010

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Workers on night and rotating shifts are almost twice as likely to be injured on the job as workers on regular day shifts, indicates a new study from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Researchers examined data collected from more than 30,000 Canadians in the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics by Ottawa-based Statistics Canada and compared workers involved in different types of shift work from 1996 to 2006, according to a UBC press release. Although the overall rate of work injuries in Canada decreased during those years, the rate of injuries for night shift workers did not.

The study found women, especially those on rotating shifts, had a higher risk of work injury, a study abstract said. Researchers speculated this is because women are more likely to handle child care and house work, which may make it more difficult to adjust to shift work and maintain regular sleep schedules.

The study was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.

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