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2004 - Chemical Manufacture

The client was planning to change from an 8 hour to 12 hour shift pattern. Also, the number of shift teams was being reduced from six to five, which resulted in employee reductions, and required changes to the way absence (e.g. sickness and holidays) was covered. This project was an evaluation of the proposed changes, including collecting views and comments from the operators being affected. Andy evaluated the planned changes to confirm the new arrangements would be acceptable from a health and safety point of view, and to provide advice about how the changes should be managed. The HSE Fatigue Index was used to evaluate the proposed new pattern. During the project, control room operators raised concerns about mental fatigue from the increased time they would be in the control room on each shift. Some other operators had physically demanding tasks and were concerned that the longer shifts would impact on their work and result in injury and physical fatigue. There was also a general concern about an ageing workforce, and how this affected shift work. The report included a qualitative assessment of the risks and advice about how they could be controlled. Advice was provided regarding human physical capabilities, nutritional requirements and how to avoid physiological fatigue.