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Does shift work increase my risk of injury?

As a shift worker in Minnesota, you earn a good wage and can maintain a flexible schedule for your kids and other obligations. Unfortunately, it could also have an impact on your safety while on the job. 

Shift workers face particular challenges when it comes to staying safe and well. Here is what you should know about shift work and workplace accidents. 

Sleep deprivation

No matter how long you have been working the late shift, there is a chance that you do not sleep as much during the day as you would at night, resulting in fatigue. Sleep deprivation can lead to workplace accidents because of how it disrupts the function and health of your body. 

For example, if you drive a forklift, it is important for you to be completely alert. However, you are drowsy and misjudge the distance between a pallet load you are carrying and the wall, resulting in items falling on the forklift with you in it. You end up with a concussion and a few broken bones. 

Less oversight 

One benefit that you may enjoy on the night shift is limited supervision. With fewer people supervising you, you may feel more inclined to engage in actions that increase your risk of injury. For example, working the night shift means there is no supervisor to keep you from horsing around. You and a coworker race to the edge of the stairwell and back. As a result, you fall down the stairs and break your arm and leg. 

Chronic health problems 

It is well documented that shift workers are more prone to developing chronic health conditions than people who work during the daytime. Shift workers can develop high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions. They may also become irritable, uncoordinated and have trouble concentrating, making them unable to handle stressful situations. All of these issues can create a toxic work environment and increase the risk of workplace accidents and injuries. 

Shift work can be very lucrative and accommodating of your demanding schedule. But it is important for you to take the risks into consideration. Make sure you get enough sleep before you go to work, pay attention to your health and get medical attention when you need it.

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Fellman Law Office
400 Robert Street North Suite 1740
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 866-532-5051
Phone: 651-222-9515
Fax: 651-225-5656
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