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Nine ways to ensure your employees don't fall asleep on night duty

by , 11 April 2013
If your employees work times other than the usual 8 to 5, working night shift can negatively impact the productivity of your company and result in severe incidents on site. Night shift work forces your employee to sleep when activities around him and his own 'biological rhythms' signal him to be awake. But there's a way to help your night shift workers cope with odd working hours and not fall sleep on duty. Read on to find out what to do...

'Your night shift workers are two to five times more likely to fall asleep on the job,' says The Health and Safety Advisor.

This isn't good for your company as it means less productivity.

Luckily, there're simple and cost effective measures you can take to guarantee your night shift employees stay awake on the job.

Nine solutions to ensure your night shift employees stay awake

To help keep your employees alert and awake at night The Health & Safety Advisor suggests you use tell them to:

  1. Take short breaks throughout the shift on the times you've both agreed on.
  2. Work with a 'buddy' so they can watch each other for signs of fatigue.
  3. Talk with co-workers during their shifts to help them keep alert. Also ask co-workers to be on the lookout for signs of drowsiness in one another.
  4. Try exercise during breaks.
  5. If possible, take a walk, stretch, or climb stairs to promote alertness if fatigue sets in.
  6. Eat three normal meals per day. Encourage them to eat healthy snacks, avoid foods that may upset the stomach. This will keep energy levels constant and throughout the shift.
  7. Exchange ideas with their colleagues on ways to cope with the problems of night shift work.
  8. Set up a support group at work so they support and learn from each other.
  9. Make the most effort to keep alert around 3am – 4am. That's because night shift workers hit their lowest period around this time.

Using these solutions will help promote alertness during night shift work. But most importantly you'll ensure your company's productivity and safety record isn't compromised.

Look out for the next Health and Safety Advisor update as we go into more details about protecting your employees that work night shift. 

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