2006 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 531-536
The paper summarizes research linking long work hours to a wide range of risks to workers, families, employers, and the community. The risks are theorized to stem from less time to recover from work, longer exposure to workplace hazards, and less time to attend to non-work responsibilities. Risks to workers include sleep deprivation, poor recovery from work, decrements in neuro-cognitive and physiological functioning, illnesses, adverse reproductive outcomes, and injuries. Risks to families include delayed marriages and child bearing, and obesity in children. Risks to employers include reduced productivity and increases in workers errors. Mistakes by fatigued workers have broad reaching impacts to the community: medical errors, automobile crashes with other drivers on the road, and industrial disasters that damage the environment.