Shift Work Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

There’s a good reason why man invented the snooze button. Sleep is essential for the mind, body and spirit, and the more of it you can slip into your schedule, the better. But when your inner alarm clock doesn’t match the confines of the work world on a regular basis, as is often the case for those who perform shift work, serious health conditions can result. The medical profession classifies these conditions as part of a Shift Work Disorder (SWD).

Shift work can be defined as permanent or intermittent night work, early morning work or rotating schedules. Police officers are among the estimated 8.6 million people in the United States who fall into this category.  

In essence, shift work disrupts the  circadian rhythm—the internal body clock that is linked to natural daylight and darkness—and makes it difficult to stay awake during waking hours or to fall asleep during sleeping hours.

Experts agree that shift work can affect one’s mental and physical health and lead to the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Fertility and pregnancy problems
  • Cancer

Workplace injuries or illnesses that occur over time, such as those stemming from SWD, can result in continuous trauma and are classified as industrial injuries. Therefore, a person suffering from SWD and its effects may be eligible for a full range of Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Because these illnesses can be catastrophic, it is imperative for injured workers to seek representation from an experienced attorney who keeps updated on the ever-changing Workers’ Compensation laws. This is particularly important in cancer cases, where there is a presumption that work played a role in causing the disease.

The law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton and Goldstein provides free, confidential consultations for those with considering legal representation in a Workers’ Compensation case. If you have any questions, please call us at 213-739-7000.

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