Late Night Shifts

Topics: Shift work, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Working time Pages: 3 (1287 words) Published: October 29, 2012
Should women be permitted to work late night shifts?
Shift work is a planning strategy designed for organizations that operates in constant service for twenty-four hours, which includes late night shifts that begin after seven o’clock in the evening and finishing before nine o’clock in the morning. Due to the nature of this type of work, it becomes problematic for women to work late night shifts. Information for this essay has been obtained through secondary research using websites and electronic documents. The purpose of this essay is to examine and justify that women should not be permitted to work late night shifts as it increases serious risks to health, high level of safety concerns, and negatively impacts both family and social life.

Firstly, late night shifts increase serious health complications to a woman’s body. Women who work late night shifts have a greater probability of developing breast cancer than women who work regular daytime hours. According to a study by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, women who work late night shifts may face up to sixty percent increase in the risk of developing breast cancer (Woodward, 2001, para. 1). This is caused by the exposure to light at night and the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep. Melatonin is produced in the brain and released into the bloodstream at night. Therefore, when the normal melatonin production cycle is disrupted in a woman’s body, estrogen produced from the ovaries increases, giving rise to the risk of getting breast cancer (Women's College Hospital, n.d., para. 5). Furthermore, late night shifts can cause hormonal imbalances that may lead to health problems, such as cardiovascular disease that involves the heart and blood vessels (Department of Health and Ageing, 2010, para. 1). According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, inadequate sleep often accelerates age-related diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss...
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