Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Shift work

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Mike, not sure who to ask, but with your experiance in  you may have come across this. I am 56, in good general health. I work the night shift as a city transit driver. I enjoy this job, and prefer the night shift (5pm to 2pm) as it is much less stressful. I have noticed that my 'life pattern' stays the same on my off days as it does on my work days. By that I mean, on a work day I will get up about 10 am, putter around, then  by mid  afternoon I get tired and lay around before work. This pattern carry's over to my days off, which is annoying, as I want to have a 'normal day'. I have been on 'stay cation' for a almost week now, and its the same. Now at 11.25 I am full of energy, on the computer! On the couple times I have gone on an actual vacation, I had more energy.  Is this a common result of shift work?  If so, I guess its not a big deal. Its more annoying than anything. Besides, I live with my wife, kids moved out (no grandkids yet), no hobbies except reading and watching TV, so its not THAT big a deal I guess. Also, I AM 56 ;-)Thanks for you thoughts!

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Subject: Shift work

Question: Mike, not sure who to ask, but with your experience in you may have come across this. I am 56, in good general health. I work the night shift as a city transit driver. I enjoy this job, and prefer the night shift (5pm to 2pm) as it is much less stressful. I have noticed that my 'life pattern' stays the same on my off days as it does on my work days. By that I mean, on a work day I will get up about 10 am, putter around, then by mid afternoon I get tired and lay around before work. This pattern carries over to my days off, which is annoying, as I want to have a 'normal day'. I have been on 'stay cation' for almost a week now, and it’s the same. Now at 11.25 I am full of energy, on the computer! On the couple times I have gone on an actual vacation, I had more energy.  Is this a common result of shift work?  If so, I guess it’s not a big deal. It’s more annoying than anything. Besides, I live with my wife, kids moved out (no grandkids yet), no hobbies except reading and watching TV, so it’s not THAT big a deal I guess. Also, I AM 56 Thanks for your thoughts!

Answer:  Bud, the first thing I’m going to suggest is that you review your situation and concerns with someone in the medical profession. My experience with shift work was that when I worked graveyard I spent my days off on close to my “normal” shift hours as I could since I did not adjust to the weekly change from graveyard to “day shift”. Many of my fellow workers had no problems and kept conventional hours with no ill effects but a few did it the same way I dealt with it. The roughest I have come across was in the pulp and paper industry where we used rotating shifts – a week of day shifts, then a week of swing shifts and finally a week of graveyard shifts. I don’t know how anyone could ever adjust but many did and enjoyed it. And some could not handle the constant changes and went to other industries. As a result I am convinced that handling shift work is very much an individual and most importantly a health issue. If you can handle a certain shift and it doesn’t cause issues with family or health then it should not be of concern. But again I must stress the need to review the issue with your doctor since this is a matter of your health. I hope my thoughts on this topic will help and if I can be of any further assistance please feel free to ask.

Michael Brown, CSP Retired

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Mike Brown CSP Retired

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I specialize in the professional management of occupational safety and health as well as workers` compensation to reduce losses and improve production and address related issues through a comprehensive approach by senior management using proven principals.I worked for over twenty (20) years in the management of occupational safety, health and workers` compensation and safety training (Retired from employment in 1996 due to a stroke, which prevented the extensive travel required).

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