Working hours and health
19 - 23 May 2014
Majvik Congress Hotel, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Shift work and working hours are related to a wide range of public health problems ranging from disturbed sleep and accidents to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.  Working hours, and the ways how working hours research needs to be done in the future are in change. Most of the published reviews on shift work and health underline the need to improve the quality of the published studies. Problems relating to exposure assessment, study design, statistical analysis and controlling for relevant confounders are common and the interpretation of the research data is often difficult.


The pervasiveness of irregular working hours and shift work, and their numerous possible effects on health and well-being demand new and immediate countermeasures at both the employers and their OS&H level.

The focus of the course will be on the current knowledge, conduction and interpretation of shift work and working hours' research and the understanding on possibilities for correct preventive actions at workplaces and units being responsible of occupational safety and health of shift workers.
Main Topics


  • introduction to the area of working hours and health
  • working time legislation
  • trends and changes in working hours
  • working hours and shift systems in different occupational sectors
  • characteristics of shift workers


Research methods

  • methods to estimate exposure to shift work in epidemiologic studies
  • company-based tools to estimate exposure to shift work/irregular working hours
  • field studies and intervention studies
  • cohort and case-control studies
  • experimental shift work studies
  • co-operation with companies and different stake-holders


Working hours and health

  • circadian rhythms and sleep
  • safety
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular health
  • metabolic disorders
  • reproductive outcomes
  • work-life interferance
  • occupational health care and health examination of shift workers



  • shift ergonomics

    - permanent shift systems

    - irregular shift systems

  • work time control/self-scheduled working hours
  • fatigue management
  • physical activity and  nutrition
  • bright light


 Specific worker populations

  • ageing workers
  • transportation and safety occupations
  • health care and the public sector
  • off-shore industries
Course leader

Research Professor Mikko Härmä, MD, PhD

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Mikko Härmä is a research professor in working hours, sleep and ageing. His research is focused on the work-related sleep disorders (shift work sleep disorder, work stress related insomnia and sleep debt) and the association of working hours with health. Mikko Härmä is the editor-in-chief of the Scand J Work Environ Health.


Target group
Researchers and PhD students, OSH experts interested in the promotion of healthy working hours and the evaluation of the health effects of shift work and irregular working hours
The language of the course is English
Course fee
EUR 600 (excludes accommodation & meals) Please see 'Course venue' for accommodation price
Registration Deadline
11 April 2014
Course Structure
Course venue
Payment Info