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Study looks at relationship between construction injuries and time of day/shift

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Corvallis, OR — For construction workers, “the chance of getting injured or getting more severe injuries are related to the hours of your work,” a researcher from Oregon State University says.

Using workers’ compensation claims from the state’s construction industry from 2007 to 2013, Liu Yang and other researchers looked at more than 12,000 claims in which a work-related injury or illness caused at least three missed days of work, overnight hospitalization, likely permanent disability or death.

They found that the frequency of injuries increased in each of the first four hours of a shift and peaked during the fourth hour. Workers who started their shift in the evening or at night were more likely to experience injuries and suffer more severe injuries than daytime workers, based on lost workdays and medical costs.

“I really hope that people could learn from this,” Yang said in a press release. She suggested a pair of interventions that could help: increased workplace supervision and work organization, which takes into consideration hours of work, as well as strict enforcement of mandatory rest breaks and meal breaks.

 

The study was published in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of the Journal of Occupational Health.

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