On September 2, Assistant Secretary David Michaels for Occupational Safety and Health received a petition requesting that OSHA regulate resident physician and subspecialty resident physicians. “Depending on the type of residency, physicians-in-training can work anywhere from 60 to 100 or more hours a week, sometimes without a day off for two weeks or more.” The petition requests that OSHA exercise the authority granted under §3(8) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to implement the following federal work-hour standard:
(1) A limit of 80 hours of work in each and every week, without averaging;
(2) A limit of 16 consecutive hours worked in one shift for all resident physicians and subspecialty resident physicians;
(3) At least one 24-hour period of time off work per week and one 48-hour period of time off work per month for a total of five days off work per month, without averaging;
(4) In-hospital on-call frequency no more than once every three nights, no averaging;
(5) A minimum of at least 10 hours off work after a day shift, and a minimum of 12 hours off after a night shift;
(6) A maximum of four consecutive night shifts with a minimum of 48 hours off after a sequence of three or four night shifts.