Re: [OPE-L] Intensities of Labour

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu May 11 2006 - 19:58:41 EDT


I 'lost' a version of the last post and had to re-write it.  In so doing,
I forgot a point.

> which is why accident rates seem interesting as a proxy.

Accidents increase when there is both an increase in labor intensity
and an extension of the working day, true.  In both cases, there is an
increase in fatigue.  But, as I mentioned previously, accidents _sharply_
increase during 'overtime' (as measured in a number of studies that
you can read about in occupational safety and health literature).  My
hypothesis is that while there is generalized fatigue in both cases, when
the working day is extended there is also *sleep deprivation* and hence
an even higher number of accidents.  Sleep deprivation, even more than
fatigue in general, is known to lead to impaired judgment and "mistakes".
Mgt. often attributes these accidents to "operator error" (i.e. it's the
fault of the injured workers) but the hours of work are generally a
managerial decision.

In solidarity, Jerry

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