Interventions mitigating health risks of shift work: Current knowledge and workplace practices
On November 6, 2012, the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) and the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) held a symposium about workplace practices to mitigate the health effects of shift work. The goal of this symposium was to extend previous discussions of injuries and illness related to shift work, to promising interventions for prevention. Over 100 individuals representing employers, workers, government, research, and the workers’ compensation communities came together in Toronto to share the latest evidence about interventions and to discuss the implications for research and practice. For background information about the symposium, please click here.
The symposium included the following topics and speakers, as outlined in the agenda and in the biographies of the speakers, facilitators, and panelists:
- Shift work: An overview of health effects and potential interventions: Paul A. Demers, Director, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Toronto, Canada
- Shift work schedules: Robert Whiting, Senior Scientific Advisor, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Hamilton, Canada
- Workplace policies and practices to promote work schedule flexibility: Karen Albertsen, Researcher and Psychologist, TeamArbejdsliv (Team Working Life), Copenhagen, Denmark
- Controlled exposure to light and darkness: Diane Boivin, Founder and Director, Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms, Douglas Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Dr. Robert Whiting video:
Dr. Karen Albertsen video:
Dr. Diane Boivin video:
There were also three breakout workshops on preventing illness and injury among shift workers in the healthcare, manufacturing, and public safety sectors. The minutes from these workshops and key discussion points from the closing panel discussion are available here.
An overview of this project and two summaries were shared on the following topics:
- Shift work and health (updated from 2010)
- Can the health effects of shift work be mitigated? A summary of select interventions
A post-symposium survey was sent out to participants. Results are available here.
- Webinar: Synopsis of the Shiftwork Interventions Symposium (November 21, 2012)
- Scientific Symposium on the Health Effects of Shift Work (April 2010, hosted by the IWH and OCRC)
- “Rotational shiftwork” by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
- “Extended workday” by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
- Shiftwork in Canadian industries (summary of OCRC initiatives related to shiftwork)