Construction workers in North Carolina face a wide range of on-the-job risks, but there could be a complicating factor that many people are not aware of — time. A recent study found that the time of day and how many hours someone has worked greatly influence his or her risk of suffering a serious injury. The researchers responsible for the study expressed hope that employers would use the information to implement better safety precautions that could help minimize the rate of construction injuries.
Shift length matters
The researchers found that the risk of suffering a serious injury goes up for every hour for the first four hours of work. The risk then hits a peak in the fifth hour before going back down. For the purpose of their study, researchers defined serious injuries as those that caused:
- Three or more missed days of work
- Overnight hospitalization
- Permanent disability
Are evening shifts dangerous?
Workers who start their shifts in the evening or during the night tend to suffer more injuries than those who work dayshifts. Not only do nightshift construction workers suffer more injuries overall, but they also tend to be more serious and require more days off work. The associated medical costs are higher too.
Based on the results of the study, researchers suggest that employers strictly enforce mandatory rest breaks and increase work organization and supervision during certain work hours. Unfortunately, some North Carolina employers are hesitant to prioritize worker safety. Those who have suffered serious construction injuries and need help may want to consider workers’ compensation, as temporary benefits can be key to recovering.