The association between weekly work hours, crew familiarity, and occupational injury and illness in emergency medical services workers

Source: Matthew D. Weaver, P. Daniel Patterson, Anthony Fabio, Charity G. Moore, Matthew S. Freiberg and Thomas J. Songer, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online August 25, 2015
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From the abstract:
Objective: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers are shift workers in a high-risk, uncontrolled occupational environment. EMS-worker fatigue has been associated with self-reported injury, but the influence of extended weekly work hours is unknown.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was designed using historical shift schedules and occupational injury and illness reports. Using multilevel models, we examined the association between weekly work hours, crew familiarity, and injury or illness.

Results: In total, 966,082 shifts and 950 reports across 14 EMS agencies were obtained over a 1–3 year period. Weekly work hours were not associated with occupational injury or illness. Schedule characteristics that yield decreased exposure to occupational hazards, such as part-time work and night work, conferred reduced risk of injury or illness.

Conclusions: Extended weekly work hours were not associated with occupational injury or illness. Future work should focus on transient exposures and agency-level characteristics that may contribute to adverse work events