The impact of shift work and long work hours on employers health care costs

Megan McHugh*, Dustin D. French, Mary M. Kwasny, Claude R. Maechling, Jane L. Holl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the additional health care costs incurred by two U.S. manufacturing companies due to their policies related to shift work and longwork hours. Methods: We applied risk ratios from the published literature todata on 2647 workers from Company A and 1346 workers from Company Bto estimate the excess cases of several chronic conditions in the workerpopulation due to shift work and long work hours. We estimated the annualhealth care costs incurred by the companies by applying Medicare cost data. Results: Excess annual health care costs related to shift work totaled$1,394,365 and $300,297 for Companies A and B, respectively. Excessannual costs related to long work hours totaled $231,293 and $107,902 for Companies A and B, respectively. Conclusions: Excess health care costsrelated to shift work and long work hours is substantial, but may not be largeenough to compel companies to alter their work scheduling policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume62
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • employee well-being
  • health care costs
  • long work hours
  • manufacturing
  • shift work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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