How biological clocks respond to light and darkness

By Max Martell

The mining industry often uses shift work schedules with the intention to have a productive working mine around the clock. However, one potential side effect of operating on a 24/7 basis can be the disruption of circadian rhythms, which results in worker fatigue — the mental state between wake and sleep.
Fatigue from shift work has the potential to decrease productivity and increase accidents in organizations where workers are overly fatigued (Dawson et al., 2000). In open-pit mines fatigue-related accidents account for up to 65% of truck driving accidents alone (Schmidt, 2015).

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