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Shift work and the effect on worker health

New Jersey employees in certain occupations may have experience working late night or early morning shifts. However, they may not realize the health problems that can be created by keeping irregular hours. For instance, those who wake up before 6 a.m. may not feel refreshed or have extra difficulty waking up. Those who work night shifts may be more likely to get into car accidents compared to other workers.

Shift work could cause workers to experience what is known as short sleep. This occurs when people only get four to seven hours of rest at at time. It may increase their risk of obesity, heart disease and depression. It may also increase the likelihood of a workplace accident. Shift workers may also suffer from a lack of quality sleep, which may also play a role in diminished health or an increased risk of an accident at work.

Those who are shift workers may find that they sleep more than eight hours on their first day off. However, it may be possible to negate the effect of poor sleep by keeping them on the same shift for four or more days in a row. From there, it may be safe to change their shift or give them time off before changing their schedule again.

Shift workers who are injured on the job as a result of being sleep-deprived may want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking workers' compensation benefits. Although benefits might be payable regardless of who was at fault for the accident, an attorney might be able to anticipate an employer's objection and include the appropriate medical documentation with the claim form.

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