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Friedman LS, Almberg KS, Cohen RA. Occup. Environ. Med. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, BMJ Publishing Group)






OBJECTIVES: The mining industry is increasingly adopting extended workdays of 10-12 hour shifts. Studies demonstrate that long work hours are associated with psychomotor impairments caused by fatigue and an increased risk of injury. However, studies involving miners remain limited. This analysis aimed to identify risk factors associated with long working hour injuries and to determine if long working hour incidents were associated with being killed or incidents involving multiple injured workers.

METHODS: Data from US Mine Safety and Health Administration Part 50 reports, 1983-2015, were used to identify long working hour injuries, which were defined as incidents occurring nine or more hours after the start of a shift.

RESULTS: A total of 52 206 injuries (9.6%) occurred during long working hours. The proportion of long working hour injuries increased from 5.5% of all injuries in 1983 to its peak in 2015 at 13.9% (p<0.001). Risk factors associated with long working hour injuries included irregular shift starts, being newly employed, employment by a contractor, metal/non-metal operations and mines with <100 employees. In two separate adjusted models, long working hour injuries were associated with a higher odds of death (adjusted OR [aOR]=1.32; 95% CI 1.18 to 1.48) and single incidents resulting in two or more workers injured (aOR=1.73; 95% CI 1.58 to 1.89).

CONCLUSIONS: Long working hour injuries were associated with a lack of routine, being new at the mine and specific mining activities. An international shift towards using contract labour and extended workdays indicates that injuries during long working hours will likely continue to grow as a problem in the mining industry.

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Language: en


extended work shifts; long working hours; mining; occupational injury; overtime work


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