Substances and Shiftwork

Shiftwork wreaks havoc on employees’ circadian rhythms and, as a result, employees may rely on certain substances to either help them stay awake or go to sleep.  It can be dangerous to the employees using the substances as well as their co-workers. Be sure to educate your employees about the dangers.  To help you get started, here [...]

Shiftwork and Cancer

The March issue of Ontario Cancer Facts from Cancer Care Ontario addresses the link between shiftwork and cancer.  The article starts by saying that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified night- time shift work as ’probably carcinogenic to humans’.  Those sectors with the most shift work employees were manufacturing,  retail, health care and accommodation and food services.  To [...]

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Healthy Eating Around the Clock (Kit)

For shiftworkers, health and well-being depend on eating habits that make the most of a busy schedule.  Using the Fact Sheet included below, design and facilitate a staff seminar that promotes healthy eating strategies especially designed for nighttime and evening employees.  As an added measure, consider distributing printed material on healthy eating tips.   Format [...]

Just How Stressed Out Are You?

Distribute self-screening tools to employees to help them determine their current stress level and shed a light on workplace triggers that exacerbate their stress.  Encourage employees to share the results with one another in an effort to reduce stress and foster helpful relationships.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Carefully Manage the ‘Danger Hours’

The period of time between four and six o’clock in the morning is notorious for adverse employee events, from intense fatigue to workplace injuries.  Adjust existing policies to ensure that employees working during this period are able to change tasks, take breaks, or take a moment to exercise.  Workplace policies should also ensure increased ventilation [...]

Prohibit Excessive Overtime

Excessive or mandatory overtime may only worsen the potentially negative effects of working late into the night or evening.  Make sure that your workplace policies don’t inadvertently urge employees to work during times at which they aren’t scheduled to do so. Source:  Brant  County Health Unit

Feature Interactive Displays or Bulletin Boards in High-Traffic Areas

Colorful and attractive displays on nutrition and heathy eating easily draw the attention of employees.  Create posters or bulletin boards that advertise healthier  meal choices, healthy tips for food preparation, and favourite healthy recipes.  The same strategy can be used for many other topics including being active, being smoke free, responsible drinking, reducing stress, shiftwork, [...]

Shiftwork: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Trent Regional Sleep Clinic – (705) 743-9509 Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers -  1-800-263-2129 WEB-BASED RESOURCES Sleep/Wake Disorders of Canada                                                           National Sleep Foundation                                                                                    Tuck NightWriter Magazine                                                                                                 Circadian: 24/7 Workforce Solutions                                                                                                

There’s More to Sleeping

Host a seminar or distribute information on sleep-related topics that are relevant to shiftworkers.  Topics might include sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, differences among common mattresses, and strategies to improve the quality of one’s sleep.  If possible, invite a sleep specialist to attend the seminar and answer employees’ questions. Source:  Peterborough County-City [...]

Alertness-Promoting and Sleep-Inducing Foods

Host a seminar for shiftworking employees that discusses foods, recipes, and meal choices that are designed to either promote alertness or relaxation.  Diet strategies may help late night workers master their difficult schedules—and avoid health complications in the process. Source: County of Lambton, Community Health Services Dept.

Healthy Eating Habits, Around the Clock

Encouraging healthy eating during shiftwork can optimize employee health and well-being.  Host a seminar or activity that promotes healthy eating strategies designed especially for shiftworkers.  Programming should emphasize the value of three meals per day, healthy snacks, foods that are mild in flavor and easy to digest, and plenty of fluids.  If possible, suggest that [...]

Offer Night Workers Quality Daycare

Employees who work during the evening and nighttime hours find it difficult to care for children or loved ones during the day, the time at which they’re usually asleep.  If possible, consider including quality daycare services as a benefit for shiftworking employees who double as parents. Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Consider Employees’ Input When Creating and Adapting Shifts

Employee involvement may provide the key to forming the most efficient shift schedule.  Remember, the best schedules are those that cause the least disruption to sleep patterns and still allow for the maximum amount of social and family time. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Happy Holidays

Consider the suggestions and needs of employees when creating holiday work schedules.  This will ensure that everyone enjoys a happy holiday, while minimizing the demands and stresses of work.   Source: Brant County Health Unit

Make Your Workplace Suitable for Late Night Work

Ergonomic supports like adequate lighting, ventilation, and a comfortable rest area help ensure that employees stay alert and productive around the clock. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Offer Workshops and Training on Each Shift

For the convenience of employees, offer training sessions and workshops during each shift.  This ensures that night workers and other shiftworkers don’t have to alter their existing working schedules to attend. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Healthy Food Options—From a Vending Machine

Adding healthy food and beverage choices to workplace vending machines assists employees in eating better, which also decreases the chance that late night workers experience gastrointestinal disturbances. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Design Your Shift Schedule with These Tips in Mind

Revise your workplace schedule policies to ensure forward rotating shifts that transition from days to afternoons to nights.  The length of each rotation should amount to less than three shifts or more than three weeks.  These short and long rotations  prevent the body from adjusting or allow the body to more fully adjust to the [...]

Have a Quiet Room

Everybody needs a little space.  Using available resources and facilities, create a quiet room where employees can go to relax and unwind throughout the day.  Furnish the room with comfortable chairs or couches and calming decor.  Provide a tape recorder with relaxation music as a fixture in the room or on a sign out basis.  [...]