Shift work and injuries

Percent of workers compensated for an injury, by shift type, Canada, 1996-2006

In brief

  • Shift workers are at increased risk of workplace injury. Sleep disruption and poor quality of sleep are thought to compromise worker attention and lead to injury.
  • We used the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) to examine the trend and associations in shift work and workers’ compensation claims in Canada between 1999 and 2005.
  • In 1999, there were 2.3 million people working night shift work in Canada, representing 15% of the workforce (9% rotating shift work, 6% regular evening or graveyard). By 2005, there had been an 18% increase in night shiftwork with a 16% increase among men and 22% increase among women.
  • Over the same period, compensation rates among day-time workers decreased by 25%, while the decrease among rotating shift workers was about 22%, and there was no decrease among evening or graveyard shift workers.
  • Men and women who work night shifts have a higher risk of work injury, compared to those working during the day.
  • Women also have a higher risk while in rotating shift work.
  • Regulatory agencies and employers need to identify and mitigate factors that give rise to increased work injury among shift workers.

Related publications

Contact: Chris McLeod

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
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Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
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Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
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Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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