Long Work Hours, Extended or Irregular Shifts, and Worker Fatigue

Limitations on Work Hours

The Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act of 2004 encourages the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to limit work hours of nurses providing direct patient care in excess of 12 consecutive hours or more than 60 hours in any 7-day period, except in the case of nurses providing emergency care.

The Federal Aviation Administration limits the duty hours of flight crew members.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the hours that commercial motor vehicle drivers may operate their vehicles.

The Federal Railroad Administration limits the duty hours of railroad employees.

The International Maritime Organization recommends limits on the duty hours of seafarers.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits the duty hours of workers at nuclear facilities.

Several states have laws restricting mandatory overtime for nurses.