Extended-hours operations, with employees on the job outside of7 a.m. to 7 p.m., have significantly higher rates of absenteeismand turnover, according to the sixth annual Shiftwork Practicessurvey by Circadian Technologies.

Managers at 10 percent of the facilities participating in thesurvey reported that their employees are severely fatigued, up from6 percent in 2002. The survey found that workers' compensationclaims are 15 times higher at operations with severe fatigueproblems than at those reporting no fatigue problems. It also foundthat facilities banning employee napping, an effective measureagainst fatigue, have workers' compensation costs four times higherthan those that do not prohibit napping.

In 2003, absenteeism rates averaged 5.8 percent amongextended-hours workers, three times higher than the average rate of1.9 percent for the entire United States workforce over the sameperiod. Transportation, processing, and health-care industries havethe highest absenteeism rates at 7.2 percent, 6.9 percent, and 6.8percent, respectively. After factoring in the costs of findingreplacements, management time, and overtime pay, employer costs forextended-hours employee absenteeism average $3,490 per worker peryear, compared with an annual average of $925 for daytimeemployees.

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