Today's News

OSHA pressed to limit hours of training docs

May 4, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Overtime and shift practices are becoming more visible job safety issues in this age of lean and mean, high-performance business operations. The most recent example is a petition presented to OSHA on behalf of more than 40,000 physicians-in-training asking the agency to put limits on the hours they work.

Medical residents regularly clock 95 hours, and as many as 136 out of 168 hours in a week, according to the petition filed by Public Citizen, a health advocacy group, and backed by the Committee of Interns and Residents and the American Medical Student Association.

Petitioners want OSHA to limit the work week for young doctors to 80 hours, limit shifts to a maximum of 24 hours, require a minimum of 10 hours off between shifts, and require at least one 24-hour off-duty period per week.

What are the health and safety risks of regular 95+ hour work weeks? The medical residents’ petition cites surveys showing that:

  • Average residents go as long as 37.6 hours without sleep.

  • Six out of seven surgical residents have fallen asleep while driving.

  • Almost a third of residents experience depression.

OSHA says the petition is under review, but its charter, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, does not address the issue of work hours.

The Department of Transportation regulates hours worked by airline pilots, truck drivers, and locomotive engineers for safety reasons.

New York is the only state to legally limit resident working hours. Six countries and jurisdictions have limits, including 56 hours per week in the United Kingdom, 48 hours in the Netherlands, and 70 hours in Australia.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon



Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine


2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.