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Work-life balance: good for health, good for trucking safety

Our current society has been criticized for focusing too much on making a profit, spotlighting careers over family and working long hours. Whether one agrees with that statement, researchers have found out that a good work-life balance is beneficial for both health and safety.

Working too many overtime hours can have a serious affect on an individual’s ability to do his or her job effectively, and multiple studies have come to this same conclusion.

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a study in 2005 that discussed the hazard risk that an employee has based on the hours they worked. According to the data, those that worked a 60-hour work week experienced a23 percent increased hazard rate. Those that worked more than 12 hours in a day had a 37 percent increase.

“There are limits to what a person can handle in any job,” said a cardiologist named Dr. Quartner when discussing these studies. He was referring not only to the decreased performance but the physical and mental effect as well.

There is one industry in which the negative effects of working too many hours are all too often seen. We are talking about the trucking industry in which driver fatigue is a major concern. For a number of reasons, truck drivers often push themselves too far, driving long hours.

In an attempt to reduce the number of serious truck accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently added new regulations limiting the hours a driver can be on the road.

When an accident does occur, those who are injured in New York may have a civil claim for compensation. An attorney experienced in these cases knows what to look for in an independent investigation and how to deal with a trucking company’s insurance carrier.

Source: abc, “Working overtime? It may be counterproductive,” Ron Snyder, Oct. 3, 2013

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