Shift workers face considerable challenges and elevated risk of occupational injury compared to their day-working counterparts. For those who work in the evening, the quality and quantity of their sleep are often lower; thus, affecting their social life and even their health.
There’s strong evidence that irregular shifts (rotating and night shifts) are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea and gastrointestinal disorders. For these reasons, it’s important to improve work conditions to help shift workers.
Top lawyers say injuries that require compensation usually fall into two categories: new conditions caused by work or underlying illness aggravated by work. Thus, making some improvements in the workplace should be one of the main goals of every employer.
Make sure the office environment is bright, as this can make shift workers stay alert on the job. Employees should also be able to stretch, stand up or walk periodically to get some exercise. It’s also ideal to have a quiet room to accommodate napping before the employees’ shift starts or while they’re on break.
Food on Site
It’s advisable to offer some healthy food on site. Healthy options like fresh fruits and vegetables not only increase the energy level of your shift workers, but also improve their overall health.
For those who work on a graveyard shift, the drowsiest time of the night is between 3am to 5am. Thus, you should arrange their workload properly. Encourage your employees to do the task that requires the most skill and concentration at the time in their shift when they’re most alert.
Those who work at night can quickly miss hours of sleep. For this reason, you have to manage shifts accordingly. Avoid requiring your employees to have more than a few night shifts in a row as well as frequently rotating shifts. After night shifts, provide your employees at least two days off before rotating.
Offer shuttle service for your shift employees to ensure that they get home safely. It’s also important to plan a safe route to minimise risk of road accidents.
Employees who work on shifts are more at risk of work-related injuries. Protect them by keeping the above tips in mind.