For many people, a normal work day is not 9-5; in fact, they don't have a "normal" work day ever. Many Pennsylvanians find themselves working rotating shifts. This means that depending on the needs of their workplace, they could work days, nights, or even overnight shifts. The goal is to spread out the shifts equally so that no one person feels like they are getting all of the overnight shifts, or that someone else gets all the day shifts. This may seem like a fair distribution of the workload, but for many individuals, it can wreak havoc on their bodies.
Fatigue is certainly the most common effect of working rotating shifts. According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, the reason for the extreme sleepiness is the conflict between the day-oriented circadian physiology and the requirement for work and sleep at the "wrong" biological time of day. The Institute for Work and Health found that people who work inconsistent shifts have a significantly increased risk of suffering a work place accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, there are just some industries that require this kind of work, including:
- Law enforcement
If you work in an industry that requires rotational shifts, WebMD offers a few tips for better sleep so that you are able to reduce your chances of being injured on the job:
- Try to avoid long commutes to and from work—they take away from sleeping time!
- Caffeine can be essential in helping get you through your shift, but try to limit it to the beginning of the shift. If you drink too much near the end of it, you may be too wired to fall asleep when you get home.
- Set yourself up for success when you get home. Outfit your bedroom with blackout blinds or heavy curtains, and ask your family to limit phone calls and visitors during your sleep time hours.
If you have already suffered an injury at work and need help, consider calling a workers’ compensation attorney. Harrisburg law firm Schmidt Kramer can help make sure you receive the compensation you deserve following an accident at work. Call today for a free consultation at (717) 888-8888.