June-July 2014

Managing 24/7 eNewsletter:
Shiftwork Trends, Best Practices, Research

Why do Operations Change Shift Schedules? 5 Common Reasons

Some facilities revise their schedules every two to three years to adjust to changing business and demographic conditions. Others keep the same schedule for 10 years or more.  How long has it been since you changed your shift schedule?

Click here to learn how often operations change their shift schedules and what are the most common reasons for the change.

Pay Differentials for the Weekend Shift

The principle of paying shift differentials has traditionally been used to attract workers to the often hard-to-fill “off shifts.” While evening and night shifts tend to get most of the attention in the shift differential conversation, it’s important to not overlook weekend differentials as well.

In this article, we take a closer look at common pay practices and reveal two common mistakes that many operations make when it comes to weekend shift differentials. Click here to read more

Hidden Problems of Using Weekend OT to Meet Increased Demand

Though many North American manufacturers try to get away with it, using a 5-day (Monday to Friday), 3 crew x 8-hour schedule, and adding additional work on the weekends utilizing overtime, has many hidden problems. Learn why by clicking here.

Previus Issues:

Shift Work, Baby Boomers & Retirement: Tips for Managing an Aging 24/7 Workforce 

The first wave of baby boomers have turned 65, and millions more will be hitting the traditional retirement age in the years to come. For shift work operations, particularly those with older workforces, the three questions they should be asking as baby boomers reach retirement age are:

  1. Am I facing an impending labor shortage?   
  2. How do I retain my current highly-skilled senior workers?
  3. If I retain my senior shiftworkers, how do I ensure they remain safe and healthy? down.

Click here to review how shiftwork operations can prepare for baby boomers retirement.

Shiftwork Management Tip: Be Realistic About Monotonous Jobs

A job often seems exciting and interesting when it is still new and challenging, but may become boring and dull when the novelty has worn off and the monotony has set in.

By making an effort to keep things interesting you can improve morale and safety. Click here to read more.

Question: Is Insufficient Sleep a Public Health Epidemic?

Answer: Yes, The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced that insufficient sleep is a public health “epidemic” and that they will increase their surveillance of sleep-related behaviors in Americans.

Click here to learn more about sleep and shift work.

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The 3 Critical Steps for Successfully Expanding to a 24/7 Schedule  

Thinking about expanding to a continuous 24/7 schedule? Or have you recently expanded?

It can be helpful to think of the process as containing 3-steps. Fail to handle each step properly and you run the serious risk of having the entire process break down.

Click here to review the 3-steps for successfully expanding to a continuous 24/7 schedule.

Managing Unscheduled Absences

If your organization were a bank or another office situation, it might not be a big deal if a worker called in sick at the last minute, or had to care for a sick relative on short notice.

But it’s a different story in 24/7 operations. Whether you work in law enforcement, health care, utilities, or manufacturing, it’s often critical that someone be there to fill certain shifts.

So how are companies managing their unscheduled absences? Click here to learn more.

Question: Is Shift Work Linked to Higher Work Injury Risk?

Answer: Yes, shiftworkers - especially female shiftworkers - face a higher risk of being hurt on the job than those who work “regular” 9 to 5 hours, according to a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Click here to learn more about shift work and injury risk, as well as how you can reduce the risk

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Communication Breakdown: Enhancing Workplace Communication at 24-Hour Operations

When your operation runs 24/7, it’s easy for communication breakdowns to occur between managers and shiftworkers, and across shift crews.  Unfortunately, even a small instance of missed or misinterpreted information can lead to a serious accident or a disruption at a 24-hour operation.

Though communication breakdowns occur in every business, shiftworkers are especially susceptible due to the effects of fatigue, shift changes, and long breaks.  It’s not uncommon for skilled and experienced workers to make careless mistakes during the overnight hours — errors that may not surface until the next crew has taken over.  

Although you can’t eliminate human performance limitations, here are some things you can do to enhance communication around the clock. 
Click here to read more.

The Book of Shift Schedules: 4 Shift Scheduling Lessons

In the late 1980s, CIRCADIAN® hired a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to write down every shift schedule that could be conceived. When the professor reached 500 schedules (with many more still undocumented schedules to go), CIRCADIAN decided to publish these schedules in a large compendium.  

We thought providing a “Book of Shift Schedules” would be a great resource for our clients.  Oh boy, were we wrong!

The following months taught us some very valuable lessons about shift scheduling. Click here to read more.

Question:  How often should a schedule rotate from day shift to night shift?

Answer: Speed of rotation - the number of consecutive shifts worked (i.e., morning, evening, night) before changing to a different shift and the amount of time off in between those shift changes – is a controversial scheduling issue.

Shiftwork experts in the U.S. tend to favor slow rotations (e.g. 1-2 weeks day shift, then 1-2 weeks night shift), while European experts prefer quick shift rotations (e.g. daily).  Click here to read more.

Previus Issues:

Why Sleep Should Be Your #1 Resolution in 2014

Want a New Year’s resolution that will help you stay healthy, productive and happy for 2014? It might sound too good to be true, but getting good quality sleep every day can help you achieve all these things.

Click here to learn 9 reasons you should make sleep a top priority in 2014.

Accident Investigation – Is there a Daytime Bias in your Operation?
Companies collect reams of data about accidents, incidents and injuries, partly in order to meet regulatory requirements. While data collection is a good practice, it’s important to recognize that proper analysis of that data is the only way to expose problem areas.

Does your 24-hour operation know what to look for?  Click here to read more.

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