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Essential methods to help your night shift workers cope with their unusual work hours

by , 30 April 2013
If you have shift workers in your company pay attention! There are health and safety risks associated with shift work. These include physical and mental problems like fatigue and increased moodiness. As a result, your employees could perform poorly and cause accidents which could be disastrous for your company. Read on to discover four tips you can use to help your night shift workers adjust to their unusual hours and remain productive.

Are you aware that night shift work interferes with your workers' normal sleeping patterns?

You see, our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that regulates the body's rhythm. Melatonin is released at night and causes you to sleep. Night shift work interferes with this process and causes disturbances in your workers' sleep patterns because his body clock is now out of sync.

This isn't only a health and safety risk to your employees, but it could be detrimental to your company if not managed properly.

Sleepiness harms your employee's 'safety, productivity, memory and mood through judgement errors, risk taking, and shortcuts which will lead to workplace injuries,' says The Health and Safety Advisor.

Luckily, there're things you can do to reduce the health and safety risks night shift work poses to your workers by helping them cope with their odd working hours.

Use these four tips to adjust your shift workers to unusual work hours

The Health and Safety Advisor says you should reduce the health and safety risks of your shift workers by giving them these helpful hints:

Tip#1: Bedtime rituals

  • Encourage your workers to take a warm relaxing bath.
  • Tell them to follow bedtime rituals and try going to bed at the same time every night. This'll help their bodies maintain a pattern.
  • They must go to sleep as soon as possible after work.

Tip#2: Exercise

  • Exercise is part of a healthy life style, and reduces stress. So encourage your workers to try and include some form of exercise in their routine.

Tip#3: Food

  • Encourage your employees to avoid caffeine or other stimulants at least five hours before bedtime.
  • Have a light snack before bedtime, but avoid going to bed too full or too hungry.

Tip#4: Napping

  • Encourage your workers to take a short nap before they're due to start their next shift. This'll help them feel refreshed.
  • If your worker is working double shifts or longer, tell them that naps at the workplace are even more important. Arrange a schedule so they can take naps if and when necessary.

Using these methods will help you reduce the health and safety risks night shift work poses to your workers and help them become more productive.

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