Physiological and psychological impacts of extended work hours in logging operations
A study was initiated in 2006 to develop an understanding of the considerations of using extended work hours in the logging industry in the southeastern United States. Through semistructured interviews, it was obvious that loggers were individually creating ways of successfully implementing extended working hours without understanding the impacts that extended working hours can have on employees. Some use rotating shifts, while others use permanent shifts. Some work 24 hours/day while most did not. Many cited that they had problems with employee retention while trying to initially implement extended working hours with their existing logging crews. This paper provides a brief synthesis of existing literature on the physiological and psychological impacts of extended working hours on employees. Because little documentation is available about extended working hours in the logging industry, these logging interview data are compared and contrasted with published shift work impacts from other industries.