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How to protect the health and safety of your night shiftworkers

by , 15 February 2013
Reports show there are more health and safety risks if your employees work the night shift. Tiredness - especially if they're working overtime - is the main factor, as it'll make your employees less safety conscious and more likely to injure themselves. There's also an increased risk of crime as burglars prefer to break in when there are fewer people. This could have tragic consequences. Here's how to make sure your staff's health and safety is protected in they work the night shift.

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his girlfriend in the early hours of Thursday morning, says News24. 
Apparently, Pistorius thought she was an intruder breaking into his house as he couldn't see her.
What would you do if this happened at your workplace?
Picture it: An employee enters into the building after hours to collect his laptop and catch up on work, startles the security guard, and is shot.
Or what if an intruder sneaks onto the premises and shoots your employees who are on night shift?
If an accident occurs in your workplace and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or get two years in jail, says the Health and Safety Advisor.
And severe incidents in the workplace are more likely if your employees work times other than the usual 9 to 5, as they can 'suffer from sleep deprivation, fatigue and personal problems,' explains the Health and Safety Bulletin.
That's why you need to take special steps to protect the health and safety of all your employees, especially night shift workers.
Two ways to protect the health and safety of your night shift workers
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act stipulates that you need to make services like first aid and safety supervision available to night shift workers.
You also have to ensure there's proper security at work for night shift workers to protect them from intruders.
Make sure you accommodate your night shift workers' needs to prevent a tragedy in your workplace.

Turn to chapter S06 of your Health and Safety Advisor to get more tips on how you can manage your shift workers 

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