|Issue No 17||11 June 1999|
Doctors Out of Patience With Long Hours
The medical profession is looking at the impact of excessive hours of work and lack of sleep under a New Code of Practise which could challenge what is a notorious industry for work overload.
The Australian Medical Association and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation have adopted a National Code of Practice on hours fo work for doctors.
The Code is aimed at addressing hours of work, shift-work and rostering for doctors in hospitals.
Research for the code involved looking at the approaches to working hours that have been taken in other industries such as airlines, truck driving and general road safety, as well as extensive research around the effects of shift work, disrupted sleep and fatigue.
The code recommends that employers undertake risk assessment of hazards relating from long hours of work.
The code sets out minimum standards for unions and employers to take action in order to avoid exposure to risk and explains the relationship between excessive hours, rostering, shift work and sleep requirements.
For more details on Work/Time/Life issues, see This Working Life, the ACTU's monthly campaign bulletin http://www.actu.asn.au
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005