Injuries associated with long working hours among employees in the US mining industry: Risk factors and adverse outcomes

Lee S. Friedman*, Kirsten S. Almberg, Robert A. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-395
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational and environmental medicine
Volume76
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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