Shift work  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of, or provide service across, all 24 hours of the clock each day of the week (often abbreviated as 24/7). The practice typically sees the day divided into shifts, set periods of time during which different groups of workers perform their duties. The term "shift work" includes both long-term night shifts and work schedules in which employees change or rotate shifts.

Industries

It is estimated that 15-20% of workers in industrialized countries are employed in shift work. Shift work is common in the transportation sector as well. Some of the earliest instances appeared with the railroads, where freight trains have clear tracks to run on at night. Shift work has also been traditional in law enforcement and the armed forces. Military personnel, pilots, and others that regularly change time zones while performing shift work experience jet lag and consequently suffer sleep disorders.

Service industries now increasingly operate on some shift system; for example a restaurant or convenience store will normally each day be open for much longer than a working day. Shift work is also the norm in governmental and private employment in fields related to public safety and healthcare, such as Emergency Medical Services, police, firefighting, security and hospitals. Shift work is a contributing factor in many cases of medical errors.

Those in the field of meteorology, such as the National Weather Service and private forecasting companies, also utilize shift work, as constant monitoring of the weather is necessary.

Much of the Internet services and telecommunication industry relies on shift work to maintain worldwide operations and uptime.

There are many industries requiring 24/7 coverage that employ workers on a shift basis, including:

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shift work" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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