Working time: Its impact on safety and health

Flexible working time arrangements have become increasingly important in today's rapidly changing economy. The diversity of working time arrangements that are emerging — such as a complex array of shift patterns, annualized hours of work and compressed workweeks — raise concerns about their potential impacts on workers' safety and health. This publication examines the effects of these emerging flexible working time patterns on the occupational safety, health and well-being of workers. It reviews these effects for each work pattern, including sleep disturbance and fatigue, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal and mental health problems, as well as accidents and injuries. The report also discusses a range of intervention strategies for enhancing workers' health and safety, including reorganizing work schedules, modifying the working environment, and providing individual assistance such as counselling and stress management. These specific strategies are incorporated within a comprehensive framework for effective r