pexels-photo-132340-large4 Ways to Improve Safety on the Third Shift

Studies show that third-shift employees experience more accidents and injuries on the job.

Not surprisingly, working through the night wreaks havoc on an employee’s body. Third-shift work hours can disrupt the body’s regular schedule, leading to increased fatigue, stress, and reduced alertness. And commonly, the third shift is a more inherently hazardous workplace. In some cases, night workers, including foremen, are relatively inexperienced. Workers with the longest seniority typically choose to work during the day — not overnight. To worsen matters, equipment, materials, parts, and tools are often missing or faulty. And the maintenance and setup crews you’d find during the daytime shift are few.

Too often, these factors can lead to accidents and injuries. Here are four ways you can help improve safety for third-shift workers.

Provide Coffee and Healthy Snacks

Wake your employees up with free coffee, especially at the start of their shift. Studies have shown that caffeine helps prevent nighttime accidents on the job, and improves performance among shift workers.

Most third-shift employees hit the vending machines, or fast food when they’re hungry. Fueling up with junk food is not what nighttime workers need, it’s nourishing healthy food. Provide healthy snacks to your third-shift employees. You’ll show that you care about them, and it may encourage them to instill healthy eating habits into their routine.

Keep Areas Well Lit

Help your employees stay bright-eyed in the wee hours by keeping areas well lit. The lighting for your night shift needs to be bright enough to compensate for lack of natural daylight. You’ll help improve your employees’ alertness, and thus cut down on accidents.

Provide Flexible and Ample Breaks

During the long night shift, your employees will need to recharge themselves. A few 10-minute breaks may not be enough. Make sure your workforce gets ample time to rest and relax.  Better yet, provide them with a quiet, secluded break area. Ultimately, they’ll be more productive and safe on the factory floor.

Supervision at All Times

Night shift workers need active oversight by managers to maintain the safest and most productive work environment. Make sure that your third-shift employees are supervised at all times.

As these suggestions show, it’s possible to make the third shift a safer and more productive environment, which will help improve employee morale and your company’s bottom line. For more information about human resources topics, visit the Nesco Resource website.