Higher risks when working unusual times? A cross-validation of the effects on safety, health, and work–life balance

  • Jana Greubel
  • Anna Arlinghaus
  • Friedhelm Nachreiner
  • David A. Lombardi
Original Article



Replication and cross-validation of results on health and safety risks of work at unusual times.


Data from two independent surveys (European Working Conditions Surveys 2005 and 2010; EU 2005: n = 23,934 and EU 2010: n = 35,187) were used to examine the relative risks of working at unusual times (evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays) on work–life balance, work-related health complaints, and occupational accidents using logistic regression while controlling for potential confounders such as demographics, work load, and shift work.


For the EU 2005 survey, evening work was significantly associated with an increased risk of poor work–life balance (OR 1.69) and work-related health complaints (OR 1.14), Saturday work with poor work–life balance (OR 1.49) and occupational accidents (OR 1.34), and Sunday work with poor work–life balance (OR 1.15) and work-related health complaints (OR 1.17). For EU 2010, evening work was associated with poor work–life balance (OR 1.51) and work-related health complaints (OR 1.12), Saturday work with poor work–life balance (OR 1.60) and occupational accidents (OR 1.19) but a decrease in risk for work-related health complaints (OR 0.86) and Sunday work with work-related health complaints (OR 1.13). Risk estimates in both samples yielded largely similar results with comparable ORs and overlapping confidence intervals.


Work at unusual times constitutes a considerable risk to social participation and health and showed structurally consistent effects over time and across samples.


Atypical hours Health Occupational accidents Unsocial hours Work–life balance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Greubel
    • 1
  • Anna Arlinghaus
    • 1
    • 2
  • Friedhelm Nachreiner
    • 1
  • David A. Lombardi
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.GAWO (Gesellschaft für Arbeits-, Wirtschafts- und Organisationspsychologische Forschung e.V.)OldenburgGermany
  2. 2.XIMES GmbHViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Environmental HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Injury EpidemiologyLiberty Mutual Research Institute for SafetyHopkintonUSA

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