A new study has revealed that Canadians who work night and rotating shifts are almost twice as likely to be injured on the job than those working regular day shifts.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia examined data on more than 30,000 Canadians collected as part of Statistics Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Results showed that while the overall rate of work injuries in Canada decreased during this time, the rate of injuries did not decline for night shift workers.
The study also found that the risk of work injury associated with shift work was more pronounced for women, especially if they work rotating shifts.
"The disruption of normal sleep patterns due to shift work can cause drowsiness or fatigue, which can lead to workplace injuries," said Imelda Wong, study's lead author.
"Our research shows that people working rotating and night shifts are more likely to experience an injury than those who work regular day hours," said Wong.
The researchers suggest that because women are more likely to be responsible for childcare and household work, they may have more difficulties adjusting to shift work and maintaining regular sleep schedules.
The study, funded by the WorkSafeBC-CHSPR Research Partnership, was published in the current issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.