16
Mar
09

On air: Are employers killing you by making you work nights?

_45569807_niteshifts1261The Danish government has set a precedent by paying out compensation to women who have developed breast cancer after working night shifts. The move comes after the UN-backed International Agency For Research On Cancer found that there was an increased likelihood of developing cancer for those who worked nights.

Are you a night worker? Do you feel you’re risking your health for the sake of your job?

And what if you’re an employer, where night work is essential – are you responsible if someone in your workforce develops cancer? Should you pay compensation, or the government? Or should you just inform workers of the risks?

Several studies over many years have found that women are more prone to breast cancer while some research suggests that men working at night may have a higher rate of prostate cancer.

Of course there is no way to know if you would develop cancer and if you did, if it is linked to night working. I worked nights for almost 7 years earlier in my career. While many journalists working on papers and on radio and television breakfast shows have to work nights – you could argue it’s not essential. But what about hospital staff, police officers, fire men and women – don’t we need them to be there for us 24 hours a day? What is the way round it? Getting staff to sign a waiver, paying them more?

This blogger says unions in the UK estimate about 20% of the national workforce is involved in night shifts.

While this one says for years, scientists have known that people who work night shifts – about 15 million people in the United States – are unusually prone to heart disease, bone fractures, cancer, diabetes and obesity.” It also says says the best therapy would be to permanently move to night work, rather than a combination of nights and days.

A union in the Netherlands says it may follow suit and sue for compensation for its female workers.

This blogger says 20 per cent of the workforce in technologically developed countries work night shifts.

We’ll be hearing from one woman who’s received compensation from the Danish government on today’s show.

Is it worth risking your health for your job?


57 Responses to “On air: Are employers killing you by making you work nights?”


  1. 1 Nengak
    March 16, 2009 at 14:50

    I am not a night worker, but I think the Danish government has set a good precedence which should be followed by all other employers who place workers in conditions that put their health at risk.
    Beyond the compensation, workers should be sensitised about the health risks on the job as well as the best safety measures.

  2. 2 Roy, Washington DC
    March 16, 2009 at 15:04

    I would love to work nights. I currently work a typical 9-to-5 job, and I am not a morning person at all (I’m well known among colleagues for my caffeine consumption). Shifting to a much later work schedule would be beneficial.

    Also, correlation does not imply causation. Just because there is a higher incidence of certain types of cancer among night workers does not necessarily mean that that is the cause of the cancer. Even if there was a
    connection, though, I would gladly accept the increased risk in exchange for being able to work the late shift.

  3. 3 nora
    March 16, 2009 at 15:16

    It is refreshing to see documentation of breast cancer causation that isn’t just your granny’s genes.

    In the US, many women are terrified to tell employers they have the genetic predisposition. To say “put me on day shift, I have the bad gene” would beg a pink slip. The new ifo makes this a more urgent problem to solve.

  4. March 16, 2009 at 15:19

    There are many jobs that aren’t without risk. There are stressful jobs that can lead to depression. They are a nightmare for those who practise them because they have no alternative to survive.

    The workers should be made aware of the risks they can run as a result of nightworking. They should get more regular medical checkup and not just get extra pay. Concerningthose who work in emergencies, they shouldn’t risk their well-beings for the well-being of society without getting insurance and assurance that society will be fully supportive of them in case they come to harm. it’s enough for them to have a split life because of having to work while others are sound asleep or in the comfort of their homes with their friends or families. For their apparent sacrifices they should get enough compensations.

  5. 5 Matt in Oregon
    March 16, 2009 at 15:39

    If you dont want to work at night because of this study then get a new job. Today in the US there are many people who need jobs and would be more than willing to work at night. Also, Employers should not be responsible for their night workers who get cancer if the night shift is identical to the day shift apart from the time of day the work takes place.

  6. 6 Count Iblis
    March 16, 2009 at 15:57

    The problem isn’t caused by working at night. It is caused by people ignoring their biological clocks. There would be no problem if you always work at night, sleep during the day. Precisely because most of society does not work at night, people who work night shifts will frequently shift back to a daytime rithm.

    So, the solution would be to actually encourage more people to work at night. If shops, restaurants, fitness centers etc. are all open for business 24/7, then night workers wouldn’t need to change their biorithm.

  7. 7 Ewewale, from Lagos
    March 16, 2009 at 15:59

    If I derive some sort of compensation, I’d work nights, afterall the risks and benefits might have been spelt out to me.
    I dont work nights but I do over-time for almost an hour daily because that’s the only time I have free personal access to the internet.
    I am browsing now during work hours when all browsing should be for official purpose.
    My working hours are 8am-5pm.

  8. March 16, 2009 at 16:20

    I would hope one positive affect of the global problems we are having today leads us to accept responsibility for our own choices. This lady is the epitome of irresponsibility. Was she forced to work night? I doubt it. Did she receive a premium for doing it? Probably. What next, are soldiers going to be able to get further government compensation once they realize they took a dangerous jobs? I travel a lot, should I get compensated de facto for the stress flying half way around the world regularly? What next? Is the government going to give people who made bad financial decisions money to pay their mortgage?

    This is ludicrous. I have worked revolving shifts my entire life. When I was a child I hated going to school in the day time. I was very nocturnal. For every night shift health hazard you could name, I could name two benefits. One shining example I wouldn’t trade the world for is this one. Everybody in the neighborhood thinks I am the greatest father and dog owner as they see me everyday for the past 2 years taking my little one and buddy for at the very least a short walk. (in Cleveland that still takes some effort during the winter.) It is a feat I am able to accomplish because I am not coming home at 5 or 6 PM when we are preparing for diner and then cool down time for bed. There is nothing you could trade me for that would make me want to give up my evening and midnight shifts. I am closer to my daughter then any other parents I know, including my jealous wife. I even get a “shift differential” payment for doing it.

  9. 9 Steve in Boston
    March 16, 2009 at 16:20

    Firstly, no one is “making” anyone work nights. If you don’t want to work nights, get a day job, start your own business, or go on welfare like everyone else.

    Secondly, this looks like yet another highly suspect case of junk science. I mean really, how can working at night increase your likelihood of cancer?

    Thirdly, make the employer pay? Crikey, why would anyone want to be an employer these days? Why should the people who create jobs be punished for doing so? Keep it up and we’ll all be working for the government. Soviet Union, here we come.

  10. 10 john in scotland
    March 16, 2009 at 16:21

    Is it more a case of a lack of sunlight and the loss of the protective affect of vitamin D..

    In Scotland this also correlates with higher rates of MS. Interesting to see if there is a correlation .

  11. 11 Kind David
    March 16, 2009 at 16:32

    “Are employers killing you making you…” what a dumb question!

    I think there should be NO employers… then we would live forever!

  12. 12 Dave in Florida
    March 16, 2009 at 16:34

    I left my last job because they told me that since I was a “good and dependable employee,” I was needed on the night shift — what a reward. After four months my health was deteriorating; I was constantly tired from not being able to sleep during the day, but fighting to stay awake at night while on the job; my personal life was in shambles, and my employer told me “to bad.”

    I quit and went to a day job and they lost a good worker. They begged me to stay and I said “to bad.”

    Dave (Happily working days) in Florida

  13. March 16, 2009 at 16:40

    Way back in the late 1960’s and through the 1970’s, I had close friends who worked at a General Motors plant. The company policy had constant shift rotations (2 weeks on days; 2 weeks on 2nd shift, 2 weeks on nights; start over), and constant forced overtime hours (up to 72 hours/week. You could refuse, but if you did, they took you off the overtime list and you got no more overtime at all. Ever.). The divorce rate was over 60% among the laborers, and alcoholism & drug use was so high that all employees were required to go to Alcoholics Anonymous-like classes. But the employees had very high wages, and terrific benefits (good to cover those car crashes on the way home caused by exhaustion or drugs). GM knew it then, and they know it now. Their only concession was to change the number of weeks worked per shift to four. It’s enough to cause cancer alright;, if you live to tell about it.
    That said, no one was forced to work there – they did it for the money. I’m not sure we want to go down that slippery legal slope. The labor problems of the world will never end until corporations have all the responsibilities of humans, as well as the rights.

  14. 14 Jerry Cordaro Cleveland OH
    March 16, 2009 at 16:49

    I worked at night for many years in several positions. My concern wasn’t cancer, it was being able to stay awake long enough to get home and crawl into bed at 8 am, sleep the day away, and then get up in the evening. The worst was my days off, where I had to keep those hours and not see my family and friends – one big reason why I decided never to work nights again.

    Frankly I’m not surprised by a higher incidence of cancer (and probably other diseases as well) among night workers. Humans are diurnal and staying up all night, every night, is a powerful stressor, which damages the immune system over time.

  15. 15 steve
    March 16, 2009 at 16:52

    there are alternatve ways of getting sunligth. My hotel here in Germany has a solarium (tanning bed) and besides being tan, my mood is elevated. Very addictive.

  16. 16 Raydan
    March 16, 2009 at 16:58

    The fact may be that more people who work at night get cancer. I think it has more to do with companies who are avoiding regulations of their toxic chemicals. They do the work at night when the regulators are asleep.

  17. 17 Archibald in Oregon
    March 16, 2009 at 17:00

    Maybe requiring some upgrades in the overall work environment would help: Full spectrum lighting to reduce the fatigue on eyes and body from the usual flickering fluorescent light conditions, standard issuance of vitamin D supplements to all night shift employees, etc. . This and other precautions would probably be more cost effective than strictly monetary compensation. There are many industries and jobs in far greater need of worker compensation pay than simply the night shift employees at some office. The list of hazardous jobs alone, that also occur at night, (garbage, road crew, power line techs, etc.), dwarfs the priority of overworked pencil pushers with stress caused cancer, no offense intended to those currently afflicted.
    If all countries truly took care of the people that actually keep our infrastructure thriving, by taking care of the essentials and precautions necessary for prolonged service, the economy would benefit tenfold. A happy workforce is a productive one. Cliche’ but true

  18. 18 Candi in Corvallis
    March 16, 2009 at 17:01

    I have been working nights as a medical transcriptionist for six years and my schedule changes often. I am also a type 1 diabetic who requires an insulin regimen. Most health professionals will tell you that to effectively control diabetes, you should adhere to a regimented schedule. I can’t do that with my work schedule, so have had difficulty controlling my health condition at times.

    Matt in Oregon: I would love to work days, but there simply are no available jobs in my pay scale where I work and live. In this economy, where jobs are scarce, do you really think I should go find a job at McDonald’s just for the privilege of working days?

  19. 19 Ken
    March 16, 2009 at 17:04

    I think many (most) of us in the US are asked to do things (work longer and irregular hours, skip meals) that are unhealthy.

    People who claim it’s our own fault, that we could choose another job are delusional – the choice is more often between bankruptcy/homelessness and ill-health.

    There’s a lot to be said about American culture, but the health (or sanity) of our work culture is not one of them.

  20. 20 mike a
    March 16, 2009 at 17:13

    To say “if you don’t like it get another job” is unfair. At the beginning of the labor movement at the turn of the 20th century that could have been used as an argument for just about any abuse. If you don’t like working seven days a week, get another job, don’t like child labor, don’t send your kids to work, don’t like hazardous conditions, don’t work here etc..etc…

  21. 21 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    March 16, 2009 at 17:14

    My father worked nights most of the years I was growing up. He died of prostate cancer three years ago. This supports the recent studies.

    My mother worked days and is a breast cancer survivor. This contradicts the recent studies.

    It is true that virtually all of our primate relatives, and all of our nearest relatives the great apes, are diurnal, and that human nocturnal habits are recent and very possibly harmful. However, I’ll wait for more stats and studies before I get my knickers in a bunch over the issue.

  22. 22 Anthony
    March 16, 2009 at 17:19

    I’d like to see those reports. Most people I know who have night jobs aren’t the healthiest people in the first place. If they can sue for that, why not just say it’s dangerous for women and not hire any women. That sounds perfectly fair to me!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  23. 23 Erin
    March 16, 2009 at 17:20

    I took a job as a courier at a radiopharmacy once. I knew the risks, as they were known then, but noticed how the exposure limits for radiation kept being revised down. I decided in the first weeks there that I’d work no more than one year in that industry. I got out in that time limit, but it wasn’t easy.

    This woman didn’t know the risks, so she couldn’t make an informed decision as she did on smoking and her weight. I am glad she was compensated. And we who don’t own businesses have limited choice from the jobs that are available, and our working conditions. Employers set schedules and run the businesses, they make the money, and if they put workers at risk, they should either compensate the workers or change the way they do business.

    It’s no longer legal to make workers endure many conditions of employment that were common in the 19th century. People *died* from those conditions. If prolonged night work is dangerous to our health, it, too, needs to be relegated to the past.

  24. 24 Rose In Florida
    March 16, 2009 at 17:21

    I CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE THAT MOST OF THE COMMENTS BY MEN REGARDING THIS SUBJECT SEEM TO BE VERY INSENSITIVE. THEY SHOULD REMEMBER OUR BODIES DO INDEED HAVE DIFFERENCES, AND NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS SO QUICKLY. FOR GOODNESS SAKES! OUR HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY CARES MORE FOR GIVING VIAGRA TO MEN THAN RECONSTRUCTIVE BREAST SURGERY TO WOMEN!

  25. 25 mike a
    March 16, 2009 at 17:29

    after all what about people like rianne? we should ignore the plight of all these people who have no choice? how ridiculous is that?

  26. 26 Tara Clasen
    March 16, 2009 at 17:36

    The doctor on your program just made a comment about exploring the new concept of lifestyle and health, looking at lack of sleep as part of a bigger picture of disease. Perhaps if this doctor and others studied any of the much older and wiser medicine’s this connection as well as many others would not be such a mystery.

  27. March 16, 2009 at 17:37

    I am an astronomer who has been concerned about this for years, in regard to light pollution and my personal health as an all-night observer. Since the problem is the disruption of the melatonin production cycle by light late at night I take melatonin tablets during or after an all-nighter. I am not sure if there is research that supports that ingested melatonin will really help but it is something I can do. (I co-authored an article on sleep strategies for astronomers a few years ago in Sky and Telescope magazine.

  28. 28 Allie in Oregon
    March 16, 2009 at 17:47

    We have known for years that smoking cigarettes have caused cancer and we are still able to smoke cigarettes if we choose. We should also be able to continue to work at night at our own risk if that is what we choose to do. People should be informed of the risks before they start working at night just as they are every time they buy a pack of cigarettes.

  29. 29 Rose In Florida
    March 16, 2009 at 17:48

    NO ONE CAN BE MONETARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR AN UNFORSEEN CONSEQUENCE, BUT AT LEAST NOW WOMEN ARE INFORMED. PERHAPS THE EMPLOYER CAN BE ASSISTED BY THE GOVERMENT TO INSTITUTE STRESS/HEALTH MANAGEMENT SESSIONS THROUGH THE COURSE OF A STANDARD WORK SHIFT TO AID PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE AND KEEP COSTS DOWN FOR EVERYONE. A HEALTHY WORKER IS A HAPPY WORKER.

  30. 30 anon
    March 16, 2009 at 17:52

    The should pay out until the situation is improved or another solution is proven. Working nights adds to the risk, especially 3rd shift work. It has to be safe to say now that in 2009 that some of the risk can be reduced by nutritional supplements, but the problem is ….CODEX. It would be hard to imagine that govs would meddle into the affairs of the down and out…, much less productive people in these times….but:

    AND this is just speculation cause I don’t know how advaced they have become with taking away our resources…but,
    Is CODEX is another seemingly impedeing way to sabo-tack the power of the individual, and going to impede workers further by putting regulations on taking supplements?

    In my opinion, and it is just opinion: Are they going to put regulations on supplements and just make payouts to those who still fall ill, or are they going to let people have choices, and have low cost supplements available? It is a tough thing to deal with….facts come slowly, but they can’t deny that the right supplements have kept people out of very, very expensive medical predicaments. Supps are not the entire solution….and don’t revol…just watch and try to rationalize with the supplement regulators called…CODEX?

  31. 31 Rose In Florida
    March 16, 2009 at 17:54

    I WORKED NIGHTS FOR 3 YEARS, WITH INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS IN A FACTORY, AND I THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD PUT THEMSELVES IN DELAYED-CONSEQUENCE SITUATION FOR MONEY, ESPECIALLY NOW. I DID.

  32. 32 JP in Oregon
    March 16, 2009 at 17:59

    Making you work? The last time I checked, people who work nights made that choice for themselves. The real question is whether or not employers are recklessly endangering their staff by having them work at night. There has been little to no talk about the dangers of working late and so I doubt that companies would be found guilty in a lawsuit. This is not the same as having people work with asbestos when it’s clear there is a danger.

  33. 33 Terry Evans
    March 16, 2009 at 18:07

    Your program, and the news that at least one country has recognized and responded to the studies demonstrating a link between breast cancer and working night shifts, has aroused my curiosity about working shifs in general.

    I was a United States Navy communications yoeman during the vietnam era. I recall wondering whether or not working years of a schedule referred to as “two-two-two, and an eighty,” might not be causing us some general malaise, possibly leading to increased rates of alcoholism and drug adbuse This schedule involves working two night shifts, 12-8 am, then doubling back ( eight hours off between the shifts) and working two (2) swing shifts (4 pm to 12 am) followed by “doubling back” to two (2) day shifts of 8 am to 4 pm), followed by 80 hours off. It’s an efficient system to cover 24/7 communications needs but, as you can see is difficult to explain let alone to subject your body, mind and soul to such a schedule for years at a stretch.

    Is there any reasearch noting a link between veterans working such crazy mind warping schedules as the 2-2-2 & an 80, or the more despised 3-3-3 and a 72. and drug abuse and alcoholsm?

  34. 34 Anthony
    March 16, 2009 at 18:14

    Ok, I’m listing to this person, and I’m thinking “maybe you should have gone to more school and gotten a better job”. She’s more at fault than anyone else.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  35. 35 bell
    March 16, 2009 at 18:21

    They have big consumption of caffeine and fatigue brings reduction of imunologic system

  36. March 16, 2009 at 18:23

    It’s really unfortunate that women do not understand their hormones better. In the US, we think that we only need to get educated when we enter menopause and we also think that’s the only time we can use a hormonal balancing cream. It’s just not true. The average 35 year old women does not have enough progesterone in her body, therefore she becomes estrogen-dominant and can be prone to developing cancer, among many other side affects. There are creams safe for women who are not in menopause and they can great increase her quality of life in many ways. Take a look at Dr. Lee’s books for more information. http://www.johnleemd.com/store/premenstrual_syndrome.html

  37. March 16, 2009 at 18:38

    Interesting that the late, great Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement for stress reduction and mental development, said one time: “Late nights are the single greatest impediment to [the] evolution [of the individual.]” On balance he also said: “Not all evolution occurs with the eyes closed.” This was in context that people should not always put such a high value on regularity of routine and rest that they might needlessly sacrifice some great, occasional opportunity. Indeed, late in his life, the Maharishi said “The main characteristic [of the enlightened individual] is flexibility: the ability to cope up with the needs of the environment.”

    To accomplish this goal, the Maharishi’s prescription for all human beings was to take two, twenty-minute periods, morning and evening, for “T.M.” — a wonderful, effortless method of deep relaxation which gently allows the system to wash away stress, giving a host of benefits. TM allows for a quality of profound conscious rest that in some respects (such as oxygen consumption) is measurably deeper than the deepest point of sleep. This has the effect of toning the body, clearing the mind and allowing consciousness literally, and quite naturally, to “expand.”

    Perhaps this decision by one national government — about just one disease involving stress — will help the governments and insurance companies of the world pay more attention to the mountains of accumulated, positive scientific evidence on the “T.M.” technique; get with the programs offered by Transcendental Meditation centers around the world; and pay (as governments and insurance companies should!) for the hugely cost-saving, preventive courses needed to teach large numbers of people this marvelous, enjoyable, highly beneficial skill; performance of which by the way does NOT depend on faith or belief, as is often incorrectly assumed. “I have no followers,” the great teacher was said to have told an astonished news reporter one time. “Each person follows his[her] own progress.”

  38. 38 parker vandi
    March 16, 2009 at 18:40

    its not a choice most have . responsibility , keeping your had above water its unfortunate that this connection has been made, knowing that you could possibly kill yourself in your attempts to survive in a world that will not shed a tear for you if you end up on the street. no one is forcing you to work at night is the arument, but it is a force . this world wouldnt have it any other way. we work to become happier, its not the job most of us enjoy its the dream of doing something with the money from the job that puts you one step closer to your dream. either way its sudden death now , you work till your dead on your feet or you develop a disease, its an ethical argument and the right thing to do is offer the compensation .

    dont pass up the opportunities to be humanitarians and custodians of the world l

  39. 39 Chad in Tennessee
    March 16, 2009 at 18:53

    This is stupid. If you don’t like your job, get a new one.

  40. 40 john in scotland
    March 16, 2009 at 19:05

    well said Richard . You hinted very clearly at the answer. Do what we ”need ;” to do , don’t be limited by the constraint of money as we experience it now .

    Produce for need not profit

  41. 41 Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite
    March 16, 2009 at 20:23

    Hello!
    Thank you for the email.
    I do not work nights and could not survive if I were to. I sympathise with all the people, men including, who have to work night shifts, but I have even a physical sensation for the women who have to work at night. I believe that such work may be conducive to the development of cancer because the nervous system suffers from unbalanced and continuous stress. People employed on night shifts usually receive higher salaries and if they risk their health for money it is their business. But there should never be any pressure on woman to take up night work, especially if she feels it may impair her health. Night work might be reduced to the absolute minimum nationally (and internationally) because it is contrary to the work of all forces naturally building and keeping up the funcitons of the human body. Thank you.
    Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite

  42. 42 Matt in Oregon
    March 16, 2009 at 21:32

    Candi in Corvallis: Yes. I am sorry about your health but if it is so badly affected by your schedule, than yes, you should change jobs. If that means less pay than so be it.

    On principle I don’t think employers should cater to every problem a worker may or may not have.

  43. 43 Ted shrader
    March 16, 2009 at 21:48

    Work Nights?
    Tough challenge, even to consider; but, whatever the human situation, answers to that and all problems call for more knowledge- for proper definition; for valid distinctions between the NORMAL and the ABNORMAL. If we do not know the “role model” appearance of any object or process, how can we know that it needs repair; or, how to fix it ?

    For some of Life’s creatures, being active at night may be a necessity for survival.

    “Different strokes for different folks”.
    It will only be through education about, and research into -the Normal basics of life- that our rules of behavior and responsibility will be found.

    In any case, then or now, to thrive and survive. we’ll continue to rely on intelligence and our endowed right to choose ,

  44. March 16, 2009 at 22:35

    People should only be required to work during daylight hours only. It interferes with our circadian rhythm if we are required to work at night.

  45. 45 mkmason
    March 17, 2009 at 03:36

    How can anyone who has opened a newspaper in the last 7 months say “if you don’t like your night shift job, get a new one”? If I held out for the perfect job I would be perpetually unemployed. If I have to choose between homelessness and taking the night shift at a job that pays the bills and gives me the experience I need, you bet I’m going to take it, and all you heartless idiots with day jobs will be the first to tell me I’m irresponsible if I don’t. I once quit a job because it was extremely depressing–I was having suicidal thoughts–so that I could NOT commit suicide and find a job more suited to me. I was harangued by almost everyone I know for quitting a job without having another one lined up. Heartless and ignorant.

    Employers should be required to pay extra for the employees on the night shift. They should have to pay compensation for illnesses known to be caused by working unnatural hours. Then they would think twice about making employees work night shifts unnecessarily.

  46. 46 Dennis Junior
    March 17, 2009 at 04:56

    In some cases, employers are killing the worker…with them working the night shift…Some people prefer to work in the days.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  47. 47 sivaraman
    March 17, 2009 at 06:43

    Hi! All
    What type of food if we are to take, we can overcome
    illness due to working in night shifts, other than working in night shifts for ever as a suggestion?
    Eating more fruits and milk? Then what for organization provides us extra pay for night shift working? Please answer.
    KVS
    India

  48. March 17, 2009 at 07:52

    bosses are also hiding facts to employees that their night shift jobs must be regarded as sacrificial jobs which need more extra pay than the day job.night jobs could be causing cancer to people who lack adequate room temperatures,yet this does not affect those on strip tease poles or 24 hr brothels.anyway,more reseach by bird scientist should continue on the research on how owls and bats are the best night shift workers.

    tambua village
    hamisi,kenya.

  49. March 17, 2009 at 10:44

    After considering, maybe what at the center of this debate is a typical WHYS problem. Definition. By definition, irresponsibility is when you make a bad decision or choice that adversely affects others. So if you choose to drive intoxicated and your dimmed reactions cause you to kill somebody, you are being “irresponsible”. If you choose to have unprotected sex and you catch a disease or get pregnant, that is “irresponsible”. If you make an irrational decision that you will remain healthy and employed enough to pay for a house 2 or more times your yearly salary that is “irresponsible”. When you can’t it is my tax dollars that you want to “bail you out”. Tax dollars that could have went towards healthcare or educational subsidies for my children. So when you choose to work nights that was your choice. Then somehow you get cancer that is called a “coincidence”. You could have just as easily been hit by a garbage truck crossing a busy street. But when you choose to sue an employer, that is a irresponsibility. That money could have better went to somebody else in the company. When it is the government that pays you, it is especially irresponsible. The negative impact of your choice on others is exponential.

  50. 50 Anitha Manivasagam
    March 17, 2009 at 12:20

    That’s perfectly one’s own choice…employers do check one’s willingness before employment…there are health hazards working at nights and that totally differs with every individual. If extra pay and compensation can make up for health loss..u decide what u want.I thoroughly enjoyed working at night-shifts for close to three years until I had to pay for it-. I had to choose between what I liked and what I wanted-good health..I finally did-resigned my night-shift job. All it takes is identification of what disturbs your bio-rythm before we blame night-shifts.And this holds good both for women and men.

  51. 51 Revathy
    March 17, 2009 at 17:45

    Hi ,
    we cannot say the people who are all working on nights are unhealthy.The healthyness of the people depends upon their foodstyle. If you eat a balanced food and take deep sleep during the day.Listen some music whenever you are free because it keeps your mind fresh.Everything is in our hand.

  52. 52 Shankari Manickam
    March 18, 2009 at 03:08

    I cannot say that who are working in night shifts become unhealthy. I just their compressed financial background which makes them top carry on night shifts

  53. 53 Calm2Chaos
    March 18, 2009 at 20:30

    I’m sorry … I was unaware that there were people being “forced” to work nights. So let me get this right working nights is bad for your health. So who do I get money from if I get cancer because I like to stay up late at night and watch TV? Sounds to me like some one got dealt a bad hand and needed to blame someone and then get paid for it. I would really need so “legitimate” studies before I actually considered this to be even remotely plausible.

  54. 54 Angela
    March 19, 2009 at 10:51

    I currently work night shifts as a care assistant on a staff bank which means I work when I want to work, night or day. I prefer to work nights so that I don’t have to fork out a fortune for childcare and do 2/3/4 nights a week depending on how I am feeling.

    I think a lot of mums find it the “best” option to work nights so they can spend time with their kids during the day or be there when they come home from school. At the moment I see night shifts as being the best of both worlds…yes I am tired at times but I still make sure I get out in the fresh air during the day and eat healthily.

    I think the issue is that people are sleeping all day therefore impacting their social interactions with others (or lack of), eating patterns and reaching for snacks, caffeine due to feeling tired, lack of fresh air and exercise etc.

    Like everything else I think it is a case of getting the balance right and everyone is responsible for their own life when it comes to that. You know when your body is suffering so make a change if needed…e.g. get out in the fresh air between naps, change diet and at worst change jobs.

    After all we work to live, not live to work and certainly not work to get ill!

  55. April 3, 2009 at 08:39

    Personally am a student but in order to earn a living i thought it need full to get a small job so that it can generate me some money to nurse my living.
    Therefore, i would not send the blame to the employers as far as cancer attack is concern.More often,a person finds it demanding to work over night in order to achieve his obligations.

    Employers on the other hand would not have to say about this because as we all know, man survives on their friends,therefore an employee offering himself to work in the night wil instead be an advantages to the employers.
    In conclusion the Danish government should not push the blame the employers to some extent .
    However, on the other hand, there some employers who over work their employees to achieve their targets.

  56. 56 Dennis Junior
    April 5, 2009 at 00:57

    But what about hospital staff, police officers, fire men and women – don’t we need them to be there for us 24 hours a day? (Yes)

    What is the way round it? (Easy….Make laws that will forbid these types of lawsuits of this sort from being filed)…..

    Getting staff to sign a waiver, paying them more? (Pay More!)

    -Dennis Junior

  57. 57 celestin kakule kiza
    April 11, 2009 at 14:13

    Employees shouldn’t be blaming employers for having taken them on for night duties since a clear and stipulated contract is signed , nobody shouldn’t be forced to work in unwilling conditions that’s why the agreements have to be well settled , the employee would also make sure he is aware of all about his job.


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