Fatigue Management:12-Hour Shifts Killing Workers
Recent research has revealed that workers suffer a multitude of problems that are associated with working 12-hour shifts and rotating shifts. Some of these problems can include a disturbed body-clock, shortened and distorted sleep, and a disturbed family and social life.
These issues resulted in acute effects on fatigue, mood and performance when adequate coping strategies are absent. Often times, these issues can progress into chronic effects on the mental and physical well being of a person, as well as a risk of cardiovascular gastrointestinal problems.
Furthermore, the results have revealed the obvious, which is that a lack of sleep or heightened fatigue can increase safety risks.
The research was founded by Professor David Peetz and Associate Professor Georgina Murray of the Griffith University Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, based on a survey carried out between August and December 2011.
The survey examined the effects of shift rosters and working hours in the mining industry. Respondents included 2566 Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union members and 1915 partners of miners.
A large percentage of respondents referred to sleeping difficulties, use of anti-depressants, and fatigue. Partners found that their spouses were too tired to function properly within the family.
There are growing numbers of studies being conducted into shift rosters as the 24-hour operation of mines and other operations become more prevalent. To many Australians, it is a 24-hour working world.
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