SOUTH-WEST shift workers have been warned of the heightened dangers of heart attack and stroke, in a study published this week in the British Medical Journal.
The new report found that shift workers were 23 per cent more likely to have a heart attack and five per cent more likely to have a stroke. Those who frequently alternated between night and day shifts were most at risk, the study found.
“Night shift workers are up all the time and they don’t have a defined rest period,” Canadian researcher Dan Hackam said. “They are in a state of perpetual nervous system activation, and that is bad for things like obesity and cholesterol,” he noted. Screening programs could help identify and treat risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, he added
As a round-the-clock operation, Portland Aluminium’s employee base is largely made up of shift workers with approximately 400 people working a rotational shift roster.
“Our shift employees work 12 hour shifts and never do more than three shifts in a row,” a company spokeswoman said. “They work 14 days out of 28, allowing for plenty of rest.
“Shift employees are scheduled for medicals with our on-site occupational physicians and nurses every year,” she said.
Read more in Wednesday’s edition of the Portland Observer.