Director, Office of Occupational Safety and Health (00S1)
Opening Comments - This topic has positions on both sides - both management and employees may have opposite positions, e.g., some employees may like long schedules because of the number of days off such schedules provide and other employees have the opposite view feeling the stress of long hours the time needed to recover.
Frank Denny, Program Manager, Occupational Safety and Health (00S1) Moderator
If you did not have time to ask your question(s) during this conference call, you may e-mail it to email@example.com or you can contact him at (202) 273-9743
Final Note: Winter road conditions are on line in many states, e.g., Wisconsin
NOTE: The Office of Occupational Safety and Health has contacted officials of agencies and/or organizations for this conference call that can represent their agency/organization's and/or are expects in their field. However, verbal statements and/or paraphrased questions and answers (found at the bottom of this agenda), are informational and have not been cleared as policy in-of-themselves. Links have been provided to this call that allow agency/organizational polices to be viewed. Questions and answers are viewed on the intranet only.
Links to Information Concerning this Subject:
PowerPoint Presentation -- Titled "Overtime and Extended Work Shifts Recent Findings on Illnesses, Injuries, and Health Behaviors"
http://workhours.bwh.harvard.edu - Links to Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety Study - see these three recent papers that have received attention. Extended Work Shifts and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes among Interns, Effect of Reducing Interns' Weekly Work Hours on Sleep, and Attentional Failures Effect of Reducing Interns' Work Hours on Serious Medical Errors in Intensive Care Units
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pdfs/97-145.pdf - Links to "Plain Language About Shiftwork" (DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 1997-145). This document gives basic facts about shiftwork and talks about ways to make shiftwork life easier.
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/meetings/slp_front.htm L inks to an NIH conference entitled: Frontiers of Knowledge in Sleep & Sleep Disorders: Opportunities for Improving Health and Quality of Life which was held in NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland On March 29-30, 2004, see link for conference agenda and abstracts; see pages 11-17 for session "Normal and abnormal sleep: What price do we pay"
Nurse Fatigue: Description -- Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report: Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses. The entire text or each individual chapter can be purchased through this site. The chapter I referenced during the call is Ch. 6, Work and Workspace Design to Prevent and Mitigate Errors. The applicable section, "Design of Work Hours," begins on page 227.
News Article ISHN: - "Research from Circadian Technologies shows that certain levels of sleep deprivation have the same effect on alertness as alcohol intoxication." "It’s no coincidence that the fatal accidents in Bhopal, Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island all occurred between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m."
Question: What should an employer be looking for concerning fatigue?
Answer: NIOSH - Three things - (1) signs of fatigue, (2) a properly designed work schedule, and (3) exposure to chemicals.
Question: What should employees be aware of?
Answer: NIOSH - Seven things - (1) getting enough sleep, (2) exersizing, (3) relaxation, (4) a proper diet, (5) to much caffeine, (6) alcohol, and (7) irregular sleep.
Question: Are there regulations concerning fatigue?
Answer: NIOSH - There are no OSHA standards but a couple of states, e.g., NJ, are enacting rules and may equate fatigue to driving while intoxicated.
Question: What is OSHA doing?
Answer: OSHA - OSHA is in the process of drafting an information document but it is not close to publication.
Question: Is there research concerning appropriate work schedules?
Answer: NIOSH - More research is needed in this area. If a work schedule is extended one that goes from day to even to night is better than one that goes from night to morning to day. There is a value to resting one's internal time clock.