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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 February 26 - March 4  > Care workers forced to work long hours at night
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2014 February 26 - March 4 [LABOR]

Care workers forced to work long hours at night

February 28, 2014
Many nursing care workers are forced to work at night under harsh conditions, a union survey has revealed.

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) published on February 27 the survey results on a total of 112 nursing homes nationwide in 2013.

According to the survey, nursing-care homes introducing a two-shift work system (12-hour shift) account for 92.8% of the total. This figure substantially exceeds the 13.2% of medical facilities operating under the same system. The proportion of care facilities on a three-shift system (8-hour shift) is only 4.4%.

About 80% of nursing homes require workers just coming off the 12-hour night shift do work the following day. Meanwhile, at small facilities, taking night duty alone has become the norm.

The nursing personnel procurement law “recommends” introducing an “8-hour-3-shift system” and limiting the night duty to 8 days or less per month.

At a press conference, care workers said, “It takes more than four hours to change the diapers of 50 persons,” “In case of fire, it’s impossible for a worker on night duty to evacuate all inpatients,” and “I cannot take a nap during break times due to tenseness and uneasiness.”

Iroren Deputy Secretary General Hara Hidehiko said, “We will urge the government to improve the national standards of care workers’ night working conditions so that the public can use nursing care services without undue worries.”

Past Related Article:
> Hospitals using two-shift work system hit record high [November 12, 2013]
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