Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf


Safety incidents associated with extended working hours. A systematic review and meta-analysis

by Matre D, Skogstad M, Sterud T, Nordby K-C, Knardahl S, Christensen JO, Lie J-AS

Objective: We performed a systematic review to assess potential consequences of extended working hours on accidents, near-accidents, safety incidents and injuries (incidents) by considering the overall certainty of evidence.

Methods: We searched five databases systematically (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Proquest Health and safety Science Abstract) and identified 10072 studies published until December 2020. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria. We followed a systematic approach to evaluate risk of bias and synthesize results in a meta-analysis. The certainty of evidence was determined by a modified version of The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE).

Results: Our analyses indicated an association between working >12 hours/day (RR: 1.24, 95%CI: 1.11, 1.40), or working >55 hours/week (RR: 1.24, 95%CI: 0.98, 1.57), and elevated risk of incidents. The certainty of evidence evaluated as low. Weak or no associations were observed for other exposure contrasts: working >8 hours/day (RR: 0.93, 95%CI: 0.72, 1.19), or working overtime (RR: 1.08, 95%CI: 0.75, 1.55), working 41-48 hours/week (RR: 1.02, 95%CI: 0.92, 1.13) or 49-54 hours/week (RR: 1.02, 95%CI: 0.97, 1.07). The certainty of evidence was evaluated as low (very low for 41-48 hours/week).

Conclusions: Daily working hours >12 hours and weekly working hours exceeding 55 hours was associated and increased risk of incidents. The level of evidence was low. Hence, further high-quality research is warranted to elucidate these associations.

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