From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Late Shift Workers Need Ergonomics

For the 24 million Americans whose workdays don’t fall between the traditional nine-to-five, that non-standard schedule may mean more than a temporary adjustment to sleeping patterns, it may also mean an increased risk for injuries including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

In a recent survey, Circadian Technologies questioned over 12,500 extended-hours workers, defined as workers who traditionally work outside of the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., to find out more about MSDs, injuries and ergonomics for members of the late shift. They found that 30 percent of the male workers in the survey and 41 percent of the female workers reported “chronic or frequent” back pain, and 16 percent of the male workers and 27 percent of the female workers reported “chronic or frequent” wrist pain.

The survey also found that the average extended hours worker slept between 5.1 and 5.5 hours daily which could make the workers more susceptible to error-related injuries. Plus the disturbances in sleep in extended-hours workers equated to longer recovery time for soft-tissue injuries. Lastly, the survey also showed that workers who had little or no influence over their work schedules reported significantly more injuries to the shoulders, hips and knees.

The study, however, did shed some positive light on the injury risks of extended-hours workers