Shift work is common in many industries, including manufacturing and production, healthcare and even retail. In some cases, having the option to work something other than a day shift is actually a benefit to job seekers who need their days open. However, choosing to work a night shift can increase certain safety risks, making safety initiatives even more valuable to those who don’t mind working after the sun goes down.
To help demonstrate why safety initiatives are more important for those working nights, here are some important points to consider from the employee and employer perspective.
Night Work and the Human Body
Generally, people are designed to get the majority of our sleep at night. In fact, some people never successfully adjust their sleep to make shift work a possibility for them. Even those who do often suffer from some level of sleep deprivation.
Our biological clocks operate in opposition to night shift work, making it harder to get quality sleep even if you have enough time. This means those working during these hours are likely more fatigued and generally less attentive. Both of these facts increase the likelihood of injury.
Smaller Crews and Less Management
Often, a night shift involves fewer employees being present, including members of management. In fact, some facilities operate night shifts with only supervisors on the floor to oversee operations with no upper levels of management even represented. Combine fewer available hands with less supervision, factor in increased fatigue and decreased focus and you can have a recipe for disaster if the right safety protocols are not in place.
Safety Initiatives and Employee Involvement
While many people assume safety initiatives are only created at the management level, employees who work on alternative schedules can actually be very valuable in their development. Night shift workers understand the increased risks they face and can witness the effects of poor policies firsthand. By being willing to discuss concerns with management, employees can help develop procedures to limit the risk of injury and even increase productivity.
One of the first steps to improving safety throughout the workplace is to establish a policy that encourages anyone who sees a potential hazard to say something immediately. This can help employees and management get on the same page, and work towards remedying problems as they arise instead of waiting until the next meeting.
Additionally, by getting everyone involved, issues are more likely to be noticed, which can help keep everyone safer. A workplace that demonstrates concern for the health, well-being and safety of all employees is often more productive and has higher morale. This creates a win-win situation for management and employees alike.
Finding the Right Shift
For job seekers interested in finding work on an alternate shift, it is important to find opportunities that meet your needs in the best way possible. By working with a professional recruiter from TRC Staffing Solutions, we can help you find a match based on your current skills as well as your preferred hours. That way you can manage your work and your life in a way that suits you best. Contact us to explore your shift work options today.