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ABSTRACT: Objective: to describe the characteristics and behavior of occupational accidents according to the working system of hospital staff. Methods: descriptive study of occupational accidents (n = 263) between July of 1998 and June of 2002 in three hospitals of the Ninth Region of Chile. Data from the personnel office of the respective centers were collected, and records of medical licenses and certificates of denunciation of occupational accidents were analyzed. According to the work system (shift work [SW] and daytime work [DW]), frequency, severity and costs resulting from the occupational accidents were compared, and its distribution in all 4 years was evaluated. Results: the occupational accidents were distributed similarly, with slight predominance in the SW (53.6%). As a result of the greater proportion of women in the workplaces within the hospital, accidents happened mainly in them, surpassing 70% in both work systems. With regard the working schedule, a greater proportion of accidents occurred between 8:00 and 12:00 hours, and independently of the shift modality, these happened mainly within the first 3 hours of the shift. Greater severity and direct costs were derived from accidents in SW. This global observation was the tendency in the different years analyzed. Conclusions: elimination of the SW in the hospitals is unlikely; however, efforts must be made to guarantee safe and comfortable working conditions, and additionally deliver the necessary resting time for staff.
Rev Per Obst Enf. 01/2008; 4:26-34.