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The Dangers of Working the Night Shift

Written by Ankin Law Office

Night shift work – though a necessity for many American

workers – comes with a unique set of health risks and hazards. For instance, according to an article on WebMD, night shift work is related to a number of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Not only does the night shift put a person at risk for health problems, it can also make an employee more susceptible to workplace accidents and injuries as well.  For instance, new research shows that police officers who work the night shift are two to three times more likely than others to suffer job injuries that cause lasting damage. A Health Day article explains that the study tracked shift schedules, stress levels, and leave for injuries among more than 400 police officers based in Buffalo, New York from 1994 to 2009 and found that 10 percent of officers who worked night shifts (11 p.m. to 8 a.m.) suffered from injuries that put them on leave for longer than 90 days.

According to Health Day, after adjusting their statistics for factors such as age and gender, the researchers also found that rates of long-term injuries for night-shift workers were three times higher than for day-shift workers and twice those of afternoon-shift workers.

A study out of Canada in 2010 showed similar results as well, finding that employees who work night and rotating shifts are almost twice as likely to be injured on the job than employees who work regular day shifts.

Disruptions to normal sleep patterns seem to be the most likely culprit for the increased risk of on-the-job injuries for night shift workers. Regardless of the cause of the accident, however, injured night shift workers (and all employees, for that matter) are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries and illnesses, including:

  • Medical expenses, including doctor visits, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of average gross weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, if unable to work while recovering. Eligibility for TTD benefits begins as soon as the injured worker is unable to work because of a work-related injury or illness and continue for the duration of the disability.
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, which are often paid as lump-sum payments. The amount of PTD payments based on a percentage of the injured worker’s pre-injury wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, and payments may continue for life. The amount of PTD payments are based on a percentage of the pre-injury wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, for up to 500 weeks.
  • In some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits such on-the-job training, schooling, or job placement assistance.

The Chicago worker’s compensation attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to helping injured employees, including injured night shift workers, obtain the full and fair worker’s compensation benefits to which they are entitled. If you have suffered a work-related accident, contact one of our Chicago worker’s compensation lawyers at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about available worker’s compensation benefits.