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Wednesday, 11th May 2011

Rough Nights: The growing dangers of working at night

Source: Young Foundation (UK)

This report explores the lives of those people who work at night: the men and women who keep our hospitals open, clean our offices, allow us to cancel lost credit cards, serve us drinks in a club or drive us home afterwards. It tells their stories. Who are they? What jobs do they do? Why do they work at night? How does night work affect them? What impact does it have on their social and family lives?

Night work is not a new phenomenon; evidence of working night shifts goes back at least as far as Roman times and levels rose during the Industrial Revolution. However, it was the transformation to heavily mechanised industrial processes during the 20th century - and the proliferation of electric lighting - which saw dramatic increases in round-the-clock working. Modern industry is dependent on expensive equipment that becomes more cost-effective if it is operating, and therefore manned, 24 hours a day.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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