Making your work schedules – More tips for tackling fatigue

Work schedules can be tough, especially when you have to build them from scratch. Between achieving efficiency, satisfying employees, meeting the requirements of company and industry standards, rules, and regulations, there’s a lot to consider. What’s more, we know that aspects of scheduling can greatly impact employee fatigue. Here are a few ways that work schedule features can be adjusted to reduce the risk of fatigue.

Build in more breaks

When looking at work versus rest, we must consider how many breaks are taken during the shift and the length of breaks. Depending on the type of work and length of the day, several short breaks might be better than a few long breaks and the standard lunch and coffee break are not enough to recover from fatigue. For example, card dealers in casinos get a 10 to 15 minute break every hour because they have to concentrate so much. If they don’t, players may be able to cheat and the casino loses money. Likewise, in jobs requiring heavy physical labour, brief rest breaks aid in muscle recovery and mitigating fatigue.

Evaluate shifts

How tired a worker is also depends partly on how many days in a row he or she works. Fatigue builds up over several workdays, as well as over a single workday. When a person gets less sleep between workdays than on rest days, the risk of fatigue can also increase. So it’s important to consider the following:

  • How many shifts are worked before a rest day.
  • How many rest days are on weekends.
  • How long shifts are.
  • The prevalence of overtime.
  • How much rest is taken during the shift.
  • Whether the work schedule is regular and predictable.

Rethink how you schedule

Older, poorly designed work schedules can be dangerous because of the physical and mental demands they place on workers. They can also be illegal if they fail to comply with government regulations concerning fatigue. Conversely, a well-designed work schedule can improve health and safety, worker satisfaction, and productivity, making a strong schedule an advantage for both the organization and the worker.

When it comes to scheduling, SchedulePro is a strong asset for any manager. Through innovative, automated scheduling, it provides you with tools to easily comply with all regulations all of the time. It also manages the data that you input so that you can generate schedules that meet your specific requirements with the push of a button. And when you want to see the data on your scheduling, you can generate reports and track statistics with ease.

We are also a trusted partner to a number of different companies in the oil and gas, pipeline, and petrochemical industries. Due to our experience with various shift patterns, we provide consulting to help companies find new and optimal shift patterns when they are seeking to change the way they do their scheduling. For more information, check out…

Sources

http://hfcc.dot.gov/ofm/index.html
http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/crm/docs/Shift_Plans_with_Seven.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/97-145/pdfs/97-145.pdf