Night Shifts of Workers

Topics: Shift work, Employment, Working time Pages: 8 (2576 words) Published: February 25, 2013

Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of, or provide service across, all 24 hours of the clock each day of the week (abbreviated as24/7). The practice typically sees the day divided into "shifts", set periods of time during which different groups of workers take up their posts. The term "shift work" includes both long-term night shifts and work schedules in which employees change or rotate shifts. A night shift is determined by the number of hours an employee works, and the time of night an employee works. For instance, a typical night shift begins during the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. In some states, the night shift hours differ. Working at least three hours between these hours is considered working a night shift.

Many shift workers have less tension and a more relaxed pace on the night shift than during the day because of less supervision or fewer interruptions from clerical or management personnel . Finally, shift work accommodates "night owls," who function poorly in the morning and best during evening or night.

Night time hours and limits:-

Night time working hours are usually between 11pm and 6am - but this can be flexible if agreed between workers and the employer. The agreement must be in writing. The night time period must: * be 7 hours long

* include the period between midnight and 5am
Staff who regularly work for at least 3 hours during this period are night workers. Workers may also be a night workers if: * there’s a collective agreement (between the employer and the workers or their representatives) that states what counts as night work * it’s likely that they’ll work a proportion of their annual working time during the night The rules about how long staff work at night are based on average working time, which is usually calculated over a 17-week period. This includes regular overtime but not occasional overtime. If the workers and the employer both agree as part of a collective or workforce agreement, the working hours can be averaged over a longer period, eg up to 52 weeks. Employers must make sure that workers don’t work more than an average of 8 hours in a 24-hour period. Workers can’t opt out of this working limit. Employers must keep records of night workers’ working hours to prove they aren’t exceeding night working limits. Employers must keep the records for at least 2 years. Workers shouldn’t be discriminated against because they refuse to work nights.

Young workers and staff dealing with special hazards:-
Some workers must be treated differently:
* staff under 18 are not usually allowed to work at night - there are also other restrictions on when they can work * night workers who deal with special hazards or whose work involves mental or physical strain can’t work longer than 8 hours in any 24-hour period Special hazards and work involving mental or physical strain should be identified as part of risk assessments. They may also be set out in collective or workforce agreements.

Exceptions to night hours limits:-

There are some jobs and situations when night work limits don’t apply.

Night shifts can raise risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than 40%:- Shift work can dramatically increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, warn researchers. A study of two million people found shift workers are almost 25 per cent more likely to suffer. Night shift workers run the highest risk of 41 per cent, says a study published on the British Medical Journal website

Occupational hazard: Night shift workers are 41 per cent more at risk than day workers of suffering a stroke or heart attack People working shifts also have higher levels of unhealthy behaviours such as eating junk food, sleeping badly and not exercising, which are linked to heart problems. But researchers said they took this into account - and the excess risks remained.  

Night Shift Workers' Rights:-
The night shift allows employers...
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