Firefighters are most depressed public sector workers.(News)

Britain's emergency service workers are prone to depression due to exhausting shift work patterns, leaving them vulnerable to accidents and mishaps, according to research by Zurich insurance.

The research suggests that Britain's public service employees are susceptible to sleep related car crashes as a result of long and inconsistent working hours. One in seven public sector employees (14 per cent) have nearly fallen asleep at the wheel of their car and 15 per cent admit that they have had to pull over from driving because of fatigue.

Impaired driving performance is not the only side effect of working unusual hours. Nineteen per cent of workers suffer from insomnia, with 13 per cent claiming it leaves them feeling depressed and 18 per cent claiming they are forgetful. …

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