One-fifth of North American employees, some 24 million workers, works outside of the standard 9-to-5-business day. The extended hours workplace can no longer be considered a temporary phenomenon, as an ever-increasing number of employers across a wide range of industries move to round-the-clock, continuous operations.
Running non-stop can be exceedingly advantageous for businesses and their clientele, delivering such benefits as lower costs per unit, shortened supply chains, increased asset utilization, and improved customer service.
However, the convenience and productivity benefits of shift work are not without cost. The average extended hours operation is riddled with unmanaged risks and costly liabilities, including disproportionate health problems among shiftworkers, which translate into increased accident rates, absenteeism, turnover and even rising insurance premiums linked directly to extended hours workforce problems. Fortunately, it is possible to successfully manage the unintended costs and risks of extended hours operations.
This study provides management, such as the Medical Director, Director of Human Resources or Director of Risk Management with the information necessary to better invest in human capital in continuous operations.
This study will identify for management the specific health problems commonly related to shiftwork operations. It will also analyze the factors that affect adaptation to a shiftwork schedule, evaluating both workforce and schedule characteristics that result in better shiftwork tolerance. Additionally, the study will present recommendations and intervention programs that will help to improve employees health in continuous operations.
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Author: Acacia Aguirre, M.D., Ph.D.