Some useful resources when discussing the impact of long hours working

Going through some old files, I’ve found a few things that should prove useful. They’re mostly resources that I pulled together in preparation for the #eyeshalfshut report in 2017.

There was the Who Needs Sleep documentary (2006) in which filmmaker Haskell Wexler, prompted by the avoidable death of a colleague explored the impact of sleep deprivation and long work hours. Interweaving medical findings with personal accounts, his camera reveals how a 24/7 work culture affects workers everywhere. From the ICG (International Cinematographers Guild) Local 600  there’s also a very hard-hitting short filmed account here on Vimeo (log-in is free but you need to log in). The ICG are a guild in Bectu’s US sister union IATSE.

A few years ago, Deadline highlighted the issue of long hours here, and in 2016, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association published a paper highlighting many of the key issues [pdf].

The UK DVLA has published guidance [pdf] on the dangers of sleepiness and tiredness and there’s information on the legal position from the UK government’s road safety campaigns here.

There’s a study (reported in the New York Times) showing that one in six fatal crashes — nearly 17 percent — involves a drowsy driver, which is about four to five times higher than previous studies have found, and the report concludes that drowsy drivers are involved in one in eight crashes that result in serious injury. Another study from the US Foundation for Traffic Safety also digs into the statistics around the causes of motor vehicle accidents and is worth a look.

There are some useful resources for employers in diagnosing the dangers of drowsiness, and the issue of ‘sleep debt’, and catching up on lost sleep. One employer even goes so far as to pay a bonus to staff who get at least seven hours of sleep per night.

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