The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) defines rotational shift work as shifts that that rotate or change according to a set schedule. Such shifts are either continuous, running 24 hours per day, seven days per week, or semi-continuous, running two or three shifts per day with our without weekends.
These irregular hours can be difficult on the human body, with shift workers being at risk of becoming fatigued and tired while on the job. Being fatigued at work can be dangerous, and it’s important for shift workers to be as alert as possible when they are working.
As a facility, there are several things you can do to make shift work easier for workers. CCOHS offers these suggestions:
- Give attention to the work environment, keeping good lighting and ventilation in mind. Do not widely separate workstations so that workers at night can remain in contact with one another.
- Provide rest facilities, where possible, to help ensure workers are well rested.
- Provide healthy cafeteria services so a balanced diet can be maintained. Provide educational and awareness materials on the benefits of eating a balanced meal.
- Consider offering facilities for social activities with the needs of the shift worker in mind.
- Consider access to quality daycare for shift workers’ children to alleviate strain on family members.
Workers should also pay attention to their own eating habits and ensure they maintain regular eating pattern. They should also sleep on a set schedule, which helps establish a routine. Workers should also plan to relax before bed to assist in getting better sleep.
Do you have any unique way to keep your shift workers alert and productive on the job? Have they shared any of their own techniques with you?
Count on Seton to help you create a safe workplace. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit www.seton.ca and we can help answer any safety product questions you may have.