The website of the ICOH Committee on Shiftwork and Working Time, a committee of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)


In this section you will find organisation news, announcements and related news stories from around the world. If you have have a news story that you wish to share, please contact the administrator, who is more than happy to add it to this page.

  • 23 Oct 2012 3:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are looking forward to a nice conference in Brasil in 2013. See for details:

  • 13 Oct 2012 6:34 AM | Anonymous
    "Nature of Science and Sleep, published by Dove Medical Press, calls particular attention to one of its recently published articles: “Shift Work: Health, Performance and Safety Problems,Traditional Countermeasures and Innovative Management Strategies to Reduce Circadian Misalignment.

    "There are three mechanisms which may contribute to the health, performance and safety problems associated with night shift work:

    1) Circadian misalignment between the internal circadian clock and activities such as work, sleep and eating 
    2) Chronic, partial sleep deprivation 
    3) Melatonin suppression by light at night."

    Read the full article and browse the open access journal here

  • 21 Aug 2012 2:43 PM | Anonymous
    See the attached pdf for details of the upcoming conference "Sleep and Shift Work: Optimizing Productivity and Health Management in the 24/7 Global Economy" to be held in Boston, US, September 27–28, 2012. 

    Further details and registration can be found here. 
  • 13 Jul 2012 5:46 AM | Anonymous
    Maelle Salmon has kindly summarised the responses to the question as to whether nurses receive monetary and/or time-off compensation for night work discussed over SINET. 

    It seems that in most countries the compensation is monetary, although in some there is time-off as well. Only a single country only uses time-off. 

    The details to date are given in two different formats on the Links and Materials page.

    Maelle has volunteered to update these files if she receives a significant amount of further information.
  • 30 May 2012 4:38 AM | Anonymous
    To help facilitate networking opportunities for "early career" WTS researchers, a mailing list similar to the SINET list is being established.  This list will provide a platform for all kinds of questions regarding research and career issues and opportunities, and will help to organize social events, meetings, etc. for “early career” researchers at future Shiftwork Symposia.

    To subscribe to the “Early Career” Researcher List please send an email with your contact information (including at least your name and email address) to anna.wirtz(at) Ideas and suggestions for using this list are welcome!

  • 02 Apr 2012 5:02 AM | Anonymous
    "This is a joint congress of the 27th conference of the International Society for Chronobiology and 24th conference of the Indian Society for Chronobiology. This is first ever conference of the International Society for Chronobiology in the Indian sub-continent. It is a great occasion that we not only actively participate in this Congress but also share, discuss and exchange our ideas on diverse aspects of Chronobiology. Together, we may be able to outline future research goals so as to benefit the mankind and other living beings. In view of this, we have outlined a focal theme for this Congress, entitled, “Biological Clocks and Health Issues in the 21st Century”.

    "The Congress offers plenary lectures, thematic symposia in both oral and poster sessions. This website would be able to provide you the relevant information on important dates, organization, conference venue, registration, scientific program, abstract submission, accommodation, social activities, pre- and post congress tours, and other useful links for additional information."

    Register here

  • 15 Mar 2012 10:23 AM | Anonymous
    Dear colleagues,
    I would like to remind you the deadline for sending proposals for thematic sessions at the 21st International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time.

    Please, send your proposal to by April 1st.

    Details about how to submit the proposal can be found at the congress website shiftwork2013

    We look forward to hearing from you,
    On behalf of the Organizing Committee,
    Claudia Moreno.
  • 26 Jan 2012 6:30 PM | Anonymous
    "Overtime Work as a Predictor of Major Depressive Episode: A 5-Year Follow-Up of the Whitehall II Study" by Marianna Virtanen, Stephen A. Stansfeld, Rebecca Fuhrer Jane E. Ferrie and Mika Kivimäki. 


    The association between overtime work and depression is still unclear. This study examined the association between overtime work and the onset of a major depressive episode (MDE). 

    Methodology/Principal Findings 
    Prospective cohort study with a baseline examination of working hours, psychological morbidity (an indicator of baseline depression) and depression risk factors in 1991–1993 and a follow-up of major depressive episode in 1997–1999 (mean follow-up 5.8 years) among British civil servants (the Whitehall II study; 1626 men, 497 women, mean age 47 years at baseline). Onset of 12-month MDE was assessed by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) at follow-up. In prospective analysis of participants with no psychological morbidity at baseline, the odds ratio for a subsequent major depressive episode was 2.43 (95% confidence interval 1.11 to 5.30) times higher for those working 11+ hours a day compared to employees working 7–8 hours a day, when adjusted for socio-demographic factors at baseline. Further adjustment for chronic physical disease, smoking, alcohol use, job strain and work-related social support had little effect on this association (odds ratio 2.52; 95% confidence interval 1.12 to 5.65). 

    Data from middle-aged civil servants suggest that working long hours of overtime may predispose to major depressive episodes.
  • 02 Jan 2012 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Working Time Society


    It is our pleasure to announce the results of the special Working Time Society election for the three open Director positions. As background, all of our 227 WTS members were invited to participate in the election through the automated system. Of that total number, 69 members (30%) participated. It is also important to note that there was a tie for one of the three board positions. Upon consulting the by-laws and the President of the WTS it was decided that this position would be split – each of the two will hold a half a vote and be half co-opted by the President.


    The new Directors are:


    Adam Fletcher


    Masaya Takahashi


    Sampsa PUttonen (1/2)


    Imelda Wong (1/2)


    Please join us in congratulating our newest Board members, completing the slate for 2012.


    Have a happy and health new year – 2012!


    Frida Fischer (President)

    Stephen Popkin (Secretary)

    Johannes Gärtner (Treasurer)

  • 12 Dec 2011 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Working Time Society Membership and Friends:


    As you know, there are currently three open Director positions on the WTS board. Nominations closed on December 7th, and after vetting, there are five nominees that will be included in this special elections. They are (in alphabetical order by last name):


    Natalia Bobko (Ukraine)

    Adam Fletcher (Australia)

    Sampsa Puttonen (Finland)

    Masaya Takahashi (Japan)

    Imelda Wong (Canada)


    You are encouraged to take some time to read these statements and interact with the candidates should you have thoughts or questions about what they said.


    The elections link should be sent out the week of December 12th. Members, please do vote as this is your chance to help further improve our organization. Again, please feel free to contact the election committee for help if you have questions (  


    Nominations closed; the election will take place on-line 2011 December 13-26. Results will be announced before New Years. A link to the elections web site similar to this will be sent when voting is ready to being; this service will automatically tabulate results as specified in our by-laws (simple majority).


    For further details, please click here

    The Nominations form can be downloaded here



    2011 Election Nominee Position Statements


    Natalia Bobko


    I am specializing in shiftwork research during 20 years, mainly – in psychophysiology of control room human-operators (in energetics, aviation, laboratory simulation of their work), also – health care workers research. I consulted company doctors, chiefs of shiftworkers as well as shiftworkers on the methods to maintain their workability, health and professional longevity. Our people have near no information on these issues. We have no statistics on the shiftwork employment (as many of the developing countries). Currently we are trying to solve this problem at the government level.

    I believe the international exchange with the up-to-date scientific achievements is very useful to maintain the health of shiftworkers in different countries. Also I believe science here ought to be transformed to become close to the world rules of development and my experience of activity at WTS board could contribute to this process. I believe that being a member of WTS board I could contribute to promote the international scientific collaboration to establish strong scientific relations with researchers of other countries to improve the working conditions, environment management mechanisms and health maintenance in shiftworkers at the enterprises of all types.

    Thank you for your support.

    Natalia Bobko, PhD, Institute for Occupational Health (Kyiv, Ukraine), member of ICOH, WTS


    Adam Fletcher


    I would like to continue serving on the Board, in order to fulfill a number of objectives. These include:
    1) Working with the organizers of each Society meeting to ensure that Early Career Researchers find value in attending and participating,

    2) Finding effective ways to maintain and increase the membership base of the Society, to support it flourishing in the long-term,
    3) Supporting the President and other Board members to improve the running of the society (including Board meetings) to foster efficient and effective practices, and

    4) To have fun at Society meetings, and enjoy spending time with the many friends and colleagues I have met through my 12 years of participation to date.

    Thank you, Adam Fletcher


    Sampsa Puttonen


    I work as a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and I'm also a adjunct professor and principal investigator at the University of Helsinki. My background is in stress and individual difference research (experimental and epidemiological). My heart is in science, but I have worked in several company-based development and implementation projects also. Current multidisciplinary projects focus for example on health effects (and mechanisms) of shift work, implementing and studying effects of ergonomic work hours among physicians, and validating screening methods for shift work sleep disorder. I have been a member of the WTS for a relatively short time, but I feel that my understanding of the activities and future challenges of the society are quite good. In my thinking the nitty-gritty of the WTS is collaboration (in knowledge and in research) and I would like to give my contribution to this work.


    Masaya Takahashi


    Since the Hayama symposium in 2001, I have been serving as a variety of roles to promote our WTS: just a participant, the Secretariat, a member of the symposium scientific committee, proceedings publication (J Human Ergol, Chronobiol Int, Scand J Work Environ Health, and Ind Health), SIN publication, and a co-opted member. With the great support of the relevant colleagues in this society, it was so fortunate for me to have wonderful time and experience through the above activities. From now on, I as a Board member would like to make my every effort to meet the WTS aims at the scientific and practical levels. I am hoping that our society will become more attractive and influential with the united work among the members of the Board.


    Imelda Wong


    I have had the pleasure of being a member of the Working Time Society since 2009 and have attended 2 symposiums as a student. It was through these conferences that I was inspired to pursue shiftwork research. I am grateful to have been supported by senior researchers who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me.
    My PhD dissertation examines the effects of shiftwork and stress on heart disease risk using an interdisciplinary approach combining health psychology, epidemiology, exercise physiology and occupational hygiene. I have also had the opportunity to work with a national survey to examine the risk of injury among shiftworkers.
    I see myself at a point in my career where I would like to give back to the WTS and help to expand the network among young researchers. It has been encouraging to see a growth in this field and I see opportunities for interdisciplinary projects.

    There is a rising concern with the effects of shiftwork and long working hours as a result of the increasing pace of society. In recent years, I have been contacted frequently not only by industry representatives, but also by individual workers who were concerned about their health after working shiftwork for many years. I hope to bring new perspectives to the WTS to address how to disseminate information not only to policy makers, but also to the general public. I am planning to work with my local government agencies and industries to identify their concerns and share most effective practices. The biennial WTS symposiums may also provide a valuable opportunity to extend similar round table discussions at an international level. This would also provide an arena for those who are applying our research to help identify future research agendas.
    Although I am starting out in my academic career and still have much to learn, I can bring enthusiasm and over 10 years of industry experience to the table. I am excited to be a part of this growing area of research and I look forward to helping the WTS move forward into the next phase.

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