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Ergonomics. 2007 Mar;50(3):446-74.

Day of the week lost time occupational injury trends in the US by gender and industry and their implications for work scheduling.

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  • Liberty Mutual Group, 516 East Fairmount Road, Burbank, CA 91501, USA. George.Brogmus@LibertyMutual.com


While there is a growing body of research on the impact of work schedules on the risk of occupational injuries, there has been little investigation into the impact that the day of the week might have. The present research was completed to explore day of the week trends, reasons for such trends and the corresponding implications for work scheduling. Data for the number of injuries and illnesses involving days away from work (lost time; LT) in 2004 were provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Safety and Health Statistics. Data from the American Time Use Survey database were used to estimate work hours in 2004. From these two data sources, the rate of LT injuries and illnesses (per 200 000 work hours) by day of the week, industry sector and gender were estimated. The analysis revealed clear differences by day of the week, gender and major industry sector. Sundays had the highest rate overall--nearly 37% higher than the average of the remaining days, Monday to Saturday. Mondays had the next highest rate followed closely by Saturdays. This pattern was not the same for males and females. For males, Mondays had the highest LT rate (27% higher than the average of all other days) with all remaining days having essentially the same rate. For females, Sundays and Saturdays had much higher LT rates--122% and 60% higher, respectively, than the average weekday rate. There were also differences by industry and differences between genders by industry. The present analysis suggests that several factors may be contributing to the weekend and Monday trends observed. Lower-tenured (and younger) workers on the weekends, lower female management/supervision and second jobs on the weekend seem to be contributors to the high Saturday and Sunday LT rates. Differences in day of the week employment by industry did not account for the trends observed. Fraud and overtime also could not be confirmed as contributing to these trends. Monday trends were more complex to explain, with possible explanations including non-work-related weekend injuries being reported on Mondays, soft-tissue symptoms becoming more noticeable on Mondays, greater Monday morning flexion risk and reduced supervision in the construction industry on Mondays. Interpretation of these trends and the implications for work scheduling are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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