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Stress-related sleep problems may put migrant roofers in danger


Photo: fantom_rd/iStockphoto

Houston — Migrant roofing workers are more likely to experience poor sleep quality, which may put them at increased risk of injury, Rice University researchers say.

A team analyzed surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 400 migrant roofers who work in communities impacted by natural disasters.

The researchers identified numerous factors that contributed to shorter sleep duration, restlessness and general sleep problems among migrant roofers. Factors included stress related to working fewer days per month, being out of work, and lacking legal authorization to work. Additionally, workers who lived in temporary housing were shown to be at greater risk of poor sleep quality than roofers who had permanent housing.

In a press release, Sergio Chavez, study lead author and Rice University associate professor of sociology, said a lack of sleep can add to the danger of what is already “harrowing” work.

“Migrant workers form part of a growing occupational group that rebuilds in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” the researchers write in the study. “The work these migrant workers perform is essential but also unstable, exploitative and dangerous, which stresses their health and well-being.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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