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Shift work

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A guide to shift working

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Shift work

  1. 1. SHIFT ROSTERING Unite (T&GWU) May 2008 1
  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONThere are currently over 3.5 million people in the UK employed as shift workers in industriesincluding the emergency services, healthcare, security, transport, entertainment, the hotel industry,utilities, manufacturing and the retail sector.Employers have a general duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety ofemployees at work. The Working Time Regulations 1998 place statutory restrictions on the numberof hours worked and stipulate minimum rest periods etc. A worker’s right to minimum rest periodsunder the Regulations can be modified in the case of shift workers. Where this is the case, theemployer is obliged, to allow the worker to take an equivalent period of compensatory rest.There are special rules, however, which apply to night workers. A shift worker is included in thedefinition of a ‘night worker’ for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations if he or she worksrotating shifts which involve at least 3 hours of night time work in one week out of every three. Inorder to protect the health and safety of such workers an employer is required to take all reasonablesteps to ensure that they do not work more than an average of eight hours in a 24 hour period.An employer must also offer all night workers a free health assessment before they are assigned tonight work and on a regular basis thereafter. Records must be kept for two years to show that nightworkers have not exceeded the working time limit and that the rules on health assessments havebeen complied with.Poorly designed shift-working arrangements, particularly when combined with long working hours,can put shift workers at risk of fatigue, accidents, injuries and ill health. Those who work night timeand early morning shifts are particularly vulnerable. As well as laying the employer open to apossible claim, employee fatigue can also affect productivity.The HSE guidance 2
  3. 3. SHIFT ROSTER REVIEW"A tailor-made shift system should be a compromise between the employers goals, the wishes of the employees, and ergonomic recommendations for the design of shift systems." (Changing Schedules: Shiftwork by P. Knauth, Chronobiology International, Volume 14, Issue 2 1997)It may be worth reminding Management of the well established Employee Relationsprotocols within the MoD:PolicyThe MoD is committed to providing staff with an opportunity to balance their commitments atwork and outside work. This means working with all staff, regardless of age, gender orpersonal circumstances, to find solutions to juggling busy life schedules. We do this in anumber of ways, mainly through the generous leave package (which includes special paid andunpaid leave as well as annual leave), through a range of alternative working patterns, theprovision of childcare facilities and holiday play schemes. The MOD is also committed tomoving staff to support their development needs and to suit their personal circumstances andto help individuals returning after being away from MOD. The process is supported by theJob Search Update which gives staff visibility of current vacancies. Some moves mayrequire a change of location for which there is a package of financial assistance. Guidance forTLB Business Units on planning and implementing a Bulk Move and the implications forLine Managers and Employees.1.1 What is Employee Relations?It is the general term to describe the relationship between employer,employees and the TUs which represent employees.The Corporate Employee Relations (ER) Team forms part of DGCP HROperations. It is responsible for developing, setting and communicating theDepartment’s ER policy and for supporting its implementation throughout theorganisation. The team provides advice and guidance and encouragesmanagement to apply consistent good practice in relations with staff and theirrepresentatives. If you have a query about ER, please seek advice from yourHLB or TLB ER focal point.The MoD Council of Civil Service Unions (CCSU) is funded by DGCP HROps. The Chair of the CCSU is elected by the recognised NI TUs annually.The other posts, detailed below, are established posts, open to TU membersonly through Departmental selection procedures.• Secretary – B2.• Deputy Secretary – C1.• Assistant Secretary – C2.There is dedicated administrative support at E1 level.TLB/TFs may also fund established posts to act as the focal point for TLB ERmatters.1.2 The Role of Top Level Budget Holders, Trading Funds and Agency ChiefExecutives and ManagersSenior managers are responsible for promoting good employee relationswithin their areas of responsibility, and for consulting staff and theirrepresentatives, including recognised TUs, on all matters likely to affectcivilian personnel. All managers must have an awareness of ER policy.They must make sure that the right consultation procedures are followedwhen considering changes in the workplace.1.3 Departmental Policy on Employee RelationsA clearly defined framework for consultation and negotiation betweenmanagers and staff must be in place for an ER system to work well. TheDepartment’s policy is to seek to maintain good employee relations throughthe Whitley system (See Chapter 2 Section 2). This covers both formal and 3
  4. 4. informal contacts between management and the TUs. Central to that policyis the principle that management and TUs meet with a genuine desire toreach agreement.1.4 ConsultationThe requirement to consult the TUs is embodied in law and ACAS Codes ofPractice. It is reinforced by the MoD’s commitment to the Whitley system andthe formal consultation procedures agreed with the TUs. (See Chapter 2Section 3)There are three main ways of communicating with the TUs about changes inthe workplace which affect civilian staff.4Section 1Basics• Informing – Telling the TUs about an issue, such as the draft terms ofreference for a study.• Consulting – Giving the TUs an opportunity to represent the views of theirmembers on any matter affecting civilian staff before final decisions aretaken, with a view to seeking agreement.• Negotiating – Holding a discussion with the TUs aimed at reaching anagreement, such as the process for changing pay or conditions of service.Section 2 The Whitley System2.1 IntroductionThe Whitley system aims to bring about co-operation and agreementbetween the Civil Service – as employer – and its staff. Its objectives are to:• seek co-operation between employer and employees to increaseefficiency and ensure the well-being of staff;• provide mechanisms for dealing with grievances which are not of apersonal nature; and• provide a forum for discussion, where differing views can be expressedand a range of experience can be drawn upon.Three important principles underlie the system.• The desired outcome is to secure agreement.• The success depends on the good will of management and the TUs anda willingness to consider each other’s point of view.• It exists to support managers in ER matters, not to replace them.2.2 Departmental PolicyThe Department’s policy is to maintain good ER relations through the Whitleysystem. MoD’s ER policy is based on full co-operation, at all levels, betweenmanagement and staff. Consultation and negotiation, with a view to reachingagreement between the Department and the TUs is the cornerstone of thispolicy.The Whitley system is the formal means of consultation and negotiation forindustrial and non-industrial staff in the MoD. The interests of staff must beproperly taken into account before decisions are taken and consulting TUs isone way that helps to bring about change with the minimum delay anddisturbance.The Whitley system is conducted on several levels. If there is no Whitley at aparticular management level then the issue is referred to the next higherlevel.2.3 National LevelNon-Industrial. The National Whitley Council is the principal forum forconsulting on matters affecting non-industrial staff across the Civil Service. Itis chaired by the Head of the Home Civil Service and Secretary of theCabinet. The Permanent Secretaries of the major Departments are theManagement Representatives.Industrial. There is no parallel body for industrial staff.2.4 Departmental LevelNon-Industrial. The principal body for consultation between the Departmentand its non-industrial staff is the Defence Whitley Council (DWC). It is chairedby PUS, and meets twice a year. 4
  5. 5. Shift Rostering ReviewIt has been long realised that there is no ideal shift system which is going to fully meet anorganisations needs and the individual health, social and family needs of each and everyemployee. Balancing the Strategic and Operational demands with those of the Employee isextremely complex. Tweaking or modifying shift patterns for the wrong reasons can becounterproductive and have adverse affects on the health and well being of your employeesas well as major financial implications for the Employer (save a penny to lose a pound)  increase stress,  impact on social and domestic activities  put unnecessary pressure on families,  reduce earnings,  increase fatigue,  Increase absence due to sickness.  Increase travel costs.  Reduced Rest, Meal Breaks  Constraints on Holiday entitlements  Contractual implications etc.There are many different shift work-schedules and each schedule has different features. Thissheer diversity of work and workplaces means that there is no single optimal shift system thatsuits everyone. However, a planned and systematic approach to assessing and managing therisks of shift work can improve the health and safety of workers.There are a number of key risk factors in shift schedule design, which must be consideredwhen assessing and managing the risks of shift work. These are the workload, the workactivity, shift timing and duration, direction of rotation and the number and length of breaksduring and between shifts. Other features of the workplace environment such as the physicalenvironment, management issues and employee welfare can also contribute to the risksassociated with shift work.As far as Unarmed Guarding is concerned the Strategic goal is to deploy the available andlimited resources as efficiently as possible so as to provide a 24/7 guarding service that meetsthe needs of our customers and which will be responsive to emerging needs i.e. upsurges inprotestor activity or emergencies. In order to achieve the strategic goals managers need tobalance the Operational imperatives with the needs and well being of those who areemployed to carry out these tasks.The first question that should be asked is; what kind of organisation do we need, is it one thatis based on the commercial sector, where deployment of assets are site specific or do we inthe MGS have a part to play in the overall strategic planning and deployment of assets. E.g.during the Gulf war MGS Officers from Scotland were deployed to Marchwood at very shortnotice, at not inconsiderable inconvenience to themselves and their families as did those whohad to make do with the short fall in manning. This would be very difficult if not impossibleunder a fixed shift pattern. 5
  6. 6. A one shift pattern to fit all is impracticable and inefficient. The Commercial sectors on thewhole operate a fixed shift pattern although this does vary from assignments the need forstrategic flexibility is not generally required. Where there is a need or demand for flexibilityit can be achieved through overtime which does not carry a premium.The MGS management and to a greater degree the MDP Senior Officers have long argued theneed for flexibility in order to meet the demands of the UK Defence Strategy and EmergencyResponse, e.g. MGS Officers are being tasked to assist with the distribution of PotassiumIodine Tablets (P.I.Ts) to the vulnerable civilian population near to HMNB Clyde as part ofthe MoD Nuclear accident response. In the commercial sector extra tasking equals extrapayment.Legal advice and Contractual agreements ACASA contract of employment is an agreement between employer and employee and is thebasis of the employment relationship. A contract is made when an offer of employmentis accepted. A number of rights and duties, enforceable through the courts, arise as soonas this happens.Most employment contracts do not need to be in writing to be legally valid, but writing downthe terms of the contract will cut down on disagreements later on. The Employment RightsAct 1996 requires employers to provide most employees with a written statement of the mainterms within two calendar months of starting work.Not all terms are always explicitly agreed in writing (express terms). The courts haveestablished that all employment contracts have the following terms included, whether expressor implied:  to maintain trust and confidence through co-operation  to act in good faith towards each other  to take reasonable care to ensure health and safety in the workplaceSome implied terms can become part of the contract because of the employer and employeesbehaviour, through custom and practice over time, or through a firms rules (particularly if theemployee has been made aware of them and given access to them).If you suffer a measurable financial loss because your employer has not followed theagreed terms of your contract you can seek damages by making a breach of contract claim.Normally this must be made to a county or other civil court but if the employment hasended, it may be made to an employment tribunal.Employers who suffer a measurable financial loss because an employee has departed fromthe agreed terms of the contract of employment can also seek damages in the same way – as abreach of contract claim or, if the employee has already claimed breach of contract to thetribunal, as a counter-claim. 6
  7. 7. The Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations were introduced on 6April 2005 and apply to businesses with 100 or more employees. From 6 April 2008, theywill apply to businesses with 50 or more employees. They give you the right to be:  informed about the businesss economic situation  informed and consulted about employment prospects  informed and consulted about decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or contractual relations, including redundancies and transfersConsultation with employees must be carried out on matters to do with their health andsafety at work, including: any change which may substantially affect their health andsafety at work, for example in procedures, equipment or ways of working; theemployer’s arrangements for getting competent people to help him or her satisfy healthand safety laws; the information that employees must be given on the likely risks anddangers arising from their work, measures to reduce or get rid of these risks and whatthey should do if they have to deal with a risk or danger; the planning of health andsafety training; and the health and safety consequences of introducing new technology.Changes to shift patterns would fall into this category and therefore must be fullyassessed.Pattern of work; Working Time Regulations 8. Where the pattern according to which an employer organizes work is such as to put thehealth and safety of a worker employed by him at risk, in particular because the work ismonotonous or the work-rate is predetermined, the employer shall ensure that the worker isgiven adequate rest breaks. Shortages in manning levels and line managers and supervisorsreluctance to assist or to ensure rest breaks and meal breaks (mandatory JSP375) aretaken add to the problem. The incidence of Lone working has also increased.Shift DesignHaving established when and what the demand is, the next stage is to design a shift patternwhich best matches resources to demand by putting the right number of officers on duty, inthe right place and at the right time.When designing or choosing a shift system there are a number of variable parameters to beconsidered. These include whether fixed or rotating shifts, direction and speed of shifts,lengths of shifts and starting times of shifts.There are also various constraints to consider such as the Working Time Regulations andHealth and Safety Regulations. There are also legal requirements to consult with theworkforce on any changes being made to existing Systems of work i.e. Safety Reps andSafety Committees, Occupational Health and Contractual obligations.Extensive research into shift work and the effect it has on the health of shift workers hasresulted in a set of ergonomic recommendations which should also be taken into accountwhen devising shift patterns. These recommendations include: 7
  8. 8.  minimise permanent nights;  minimise sequence of nights: only 2-4 night shifts in succession should be worked;  consider shorter night shifts;  avoid quick change-over’s;  plan rotas with some free weekends;  avoid overlong work sequences;  Rotate forward (i.e. clockwise rotation morning/ evenings/ nights);  Avoid early starts.(Guidelines For Shift workers, Ed. by A. Wedderburn, Bulletin of European Studies on Time,1991).Information and consultationThe tone of recent information provided by management has been perceived by many asthreatening and ‘Bullying’ this has been strongly denied by management, however JSP 763may offer some insight;‘ the conduct complained of must have the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity,or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.It makes no difference whether the conduct was intended to have either of these effects’.‘Though most people will agree on extreme cases of bullying, behaviour that is consideredbullying by one person may be viewed as, for example, ‘firm management’ or ‘robust leadership’by another. Such perceptions should, however, be treated sceptically and strongly discouraged, incase they are being used as a pretext or euphemism for bullying’.It cannot be denied that the effect of the information being disseminated is creating a Hostileenvironment with fear for the future being uppermost in the minds of MGS Officers. Pushingthrough with cost cutting measures on the pretext that it is a ‘test’ without stating clearly what thecriteria for success or failure is or in deed if a mechanism is in place to re-establish the status quo.This is manifestly impacting on moral which in turn will impact on operational effectiveness.Hazards associated with Shift working; Fatigue and sleep deficit. In the UK, there is no specific health & safety legislation on shift working. Neverthelessemployers have general health & safety responsibilities (e.g. a duty of care in law) for theiremployees and others. This duty includes removing or controlling the health risks (whichincludes mental health) associated with shift working by properly organising and planningshift-working arrangements. Their broader responsibility for the health and safety of others(e.g. the public) that might be affected by their work activities e.g. fatigue.Fixed shifts cause the least disruption to circadian rhythms, provided that the workersmaintain the same sleep/wake cycle on their rest days as on their work days. However, mostnight workers revert to a normal day/night cycle on their days off to participate infamily/social life, thus negating any adjustment in circadian rhythms. Fixed shifts are popular 8
  9. 9. with Employees as they have the advantage of forward planning. The disadvantages are thatmanagement does not have the same flexibility e.g. during surges in demand.Slowly rotating shifts allow greater time for circadian rhythms to adjust to each new shift.However, this type of shift system can result in sleep debt and fatigue due to moreconsecutive periods of day sleep. Studies on shift workers have shown it takes about 21consecutive days for circadian rhythms to fully adjust to nightshift. Again, workers tend torevert to a normal day/night cycle on their rest days during this period, thus negating anyadjustment which has begun.Weekly rotating shifts have been shown to provide insufficient time for the circadianrhythms to adjust completely and enough time for a sizeable sleep debt to build up. Working4 to 7 night shifts in a row is now widely condemned by experts. Many Police Forces whichadopted the Ottowa shift pattern in the early 1990 (which included 7 consecutive nights) arenow looking at VSAs (Variable Shift Arrangements) which minimise consecutive nights.Rapid rotating shifts have the advantage that (i) the circadian rhythms remain day orientatedsince not enough time elapses for them to adjust to the new routine;(ii) there is lessaccumulation of sleep debt; and (iii) there are free evenings every week for social/ familycontact. The disadvantage is that when on the 2 to 4 nights of work, the worker will be out ofsync and alertness may be affected.Direction of Rotation: Forward rotation (early/late/nights) is recommended from a circadianperspective because the internal body clock naturally tends to run slow (i.e. every 25 hrs). Itis easier then, to delay sleep than it is to advance it. Consider jet lag - people experience lessjet lag going from east to west than from west to east. The same principle is at work.However some workers prefer a backward rotation (nights/late/early) because it affords moretime to recover lost sleep and prepare for the next night shift.Early starts to the morning shift should be avoided. Early starts reduce sleep as, by choiceor by family circumstances, most workers go to bed around their normal time. Reduced sleepleads to fatigue which increases the risk of errors and accidents on the morning shift.There is no optimum starting time - but 0700hrs is better than 0600hrs which is better than0500hrs.Consider shorter night shifts. As mental alertness and physical performance deteriorateduring the night, it is argued that night shift should be restricted to 7 or 8 hours to minimisethe risk of errors and accidents. VSAs enable the Early or Late shifts to be extendedaccordingly.Minimise sequence of nights. Minimising the sequence of nights worked minimises thedegree of adaption (or disruption) of the circadian rhythms from their normal day orientation.Academic recommendations vary between a maximum of 2 and 4 consecutive nights.Combination, Floating Shifts. Has the advantage of the rapidly rotating shift pattern with aperiod flexibility that allows management the capacity to increase manning during periods offoreseeable demand. It also allows an element of choice and can tailored to meet the needs of 9
  10. 10. both the employee and management, i.e. those that prefer day or night working family orsocial purposes can be accommodated and shorter but more shifts can be used bymanagement to give them the flexibility they require.Recent research within the Police service on this subject was conducted by Sgt Carl Masson,Merseyside Police. His publication Healthy Nights published by the Home Office PoliceResearch Group goes into this in greater detail .For a summary of the research, see the recent article The Killer Shift, published in the PoliceFederation magazine Police in November 2000.Rest days. Sleep debt does not have to be paid back "in full" on rest days as recovery sleep isdeeper than normal sleep. However, 2 nights of unrestricted sleep after a sequence of nightshifts is recommended to recover from sleep loss.Designing Shift Schedules. The design of shift systems is a complex task which is not easilydone by hand. However, there are commercial computer shift scheduling packages availablewhich might assist shift designers in their task. There are also a number of academic expertsin this field which managers should consider consulting. The following examples of shiftworking patterns employed by various Police forces around the country are to a greater extentbased on the manning requirements of the particular force..The starting times depend on how the Force day is defined - 0600hrs to 0600hrs or 0700hrsto 0700hrs, which in itself would be a factor to take into account.Further schedules will be added as they become known, to highlight the development ofpolice shift schedules away from the traditional Regulation Shift Pattern.Traditional Police Regulation shift pattern Week M T W T F S S 1 N N N N N N N 2 - - L L L L L 3 L L - - E E E 4 E E E E - - -N=2300hrs to 0700hrsL=1500hrs to 2300hrsE=0700hrs to 1500hrsThe problem with the traditional shift pattern is that over the 4 week cycle 168 hours areworked, which equates to an average of 42 hours per week. This is in excess of the averageworking week for police officers in the UK of 40 hours per week. This means that for eachcycle of the shift pattern each officer is owed 8 hours. 10
  11. 11. Ottawashift pattern (Early 1990s) Week M T W T F S S 1 N N N N - - - 2 - - - L+ L+ L+ L 3 - - E E E - - 4 L L L - - E E 5 E E - - N+ N NE = 0700hrs to 1700hrsL = 1400hrs to 2400hrs, L+ = 1700hrs to 0300hrsN = 2230hrs to 0700hrs, N+ = 2300hrs to 0700hrsThe Ottawa shift pattern involves working extended shift lengths in order to increase thenumber of days off, but still includes 7 night shifts in a row.Variable Shift Arrangement (Late 1990s) - Merseyside Police Week M T W T F S S 1 N N N N - - - 2 E E E - - L+ L 3 L L - - N N N 4 - - - E E+ E+ E 5 - - L L L+ - -E = 0700hrs to 1600hrs (9 hours) , E+ = 0700hrs to 1700hrs (10 hours)L = 1400hrs to 2400hrs (10 hours), L+ = 1600hrs to 0300hrs (11 hours)N = 2200hrs to 0700hrs (9 hours)Variable Shift Arrangement(Late 1990s) - Thames Valley Police Week M T W T F S S 1 N1 N1 L2 L2 - - - 2 E E E - - L1 L2 3 L2 L2 - - N3 N3 N2 4 - - TIA E+ E+ E+ E+ 5 - - N1 N2 L1 - -E = 0700hrs to 1500hrs (8 hours), E+ = 0700hrs to1700hrs (10 hours)L1 = 1630hrs to 0230hrs (10 hours), L2= 1400hrs to 2230hrs (8 1/2 hours)N1 = 2200hrs to 0700hrs (9 hours), N2 = 2130hrs to 0700hrs (9 1/2 hours)N3 = 2100hrs to 0700hrs (10 hours) TIA = Team in Action/Training (8 hours) 11
  12. 12. Variable Shift Arrangement (Early 2000s) - Grampian Police Week M T W T F S S 1 - D TR L N N N 2 - - E E E - - 3 L L L - - E E 4 E E - - L+ L+ L 5 N N N N - - -TR = Training/ Pro-active policing day (8 hours)E = 0600hrs to 1500hrs (9hours)D = Report Writing / Training day (8 hours)L = 1400hrs to 2300hrs (9 hours) L+ = 1400hrs to 2400hrs (10 hours)N = 2200hrs to 0600hrs (8 hours)Variable Shift Arrangements with Sub Groups (2000 onwards)Traditionally, police officers have been organised into teams or Units comprising fixednumbers of officers. Officers within the same Unit commence and finish a tour of dutytogether. Being part of a team encouraged comradeship, loyalty and trust. In striving tobetter match limited resources to peaks and troughs in demand, however, Police managers (inthe UK) are now challenging the rigidity of those Units. As a result they now talk abouthaving a Core Shift Pattern around which sub-groups of each Unit work.Any of the above shift schedules can be used as a Core Shift Pattern. The core Units are thensub-divided into 2 or 3 (or more)sub-groups. Each Sub-group is then scheduled around theCore shifttimes to better match resources to demand: Week M T W T F S S 1A N N N N - - - 1B N* N* N* N* 2A E E E - - L+ L 2B 3A L L - - N N N 3B 4A - - - E E+ E+ E 4B E* E* 5A - - L L L+ - - 5BE= 0700hrs to 1600hrs (9 hours), E+ = 0700hrs to 1700hrs (10 hours)L = 1400hrs to 2400hrs (10 hours), L+ = 1600hrs to 0300hrs (11 hours)N = 2200hrs to 0700hrs (9 hours)N* = 1800hrs to 0300hrs (9hours) E* = 1000hrs to 2000hrs (10 hours) 12
  13. 13. The above is an example of a 5 Unit / 2 Sub-Group shift schedule.In Week 1, sub-group 1A works nightshift Monday to Thursday. However, as analysis oflocal demand shows a greater need for officers in the early evening, sub-group 1B falls backto augment the Late shift.In Week 4, sub-group 4A works the extended Early shift on Friday and Saturday. However,as analysis shows that a whole Unit is required for Night shift on those days,it is necessaryfor sub-group 4B to move forward from the Early shift to augment the Late shift.On all other days (in this example) sub-group B works the same Core shift as sub- group A,to form a whole Unit. After 5 weeks the sub-groups swap roles. Thus over a 10 week period asubgroup would follow the shift pattern sequence: 1A,2A,3A,4A,5A,1B,2B,3B,4B,5BObviously, the more subgroups a core Unit is divided into, the closer police managers believethey can fit resources to demand. Sub-Groups themselves do not have to be rigid, or even ofequal size; in the example above, subgroup 1B might be 1/3, 1/4 etc of the Unit size. TheUnit is seen as a pool from which officers are drawn to create the required sub-group. Overthe period of a year proper resource management is meant to ensure that officers are drawnfrom the pool equally.In Scotland, Strathclyde Police work a variation of a 4 Unit / 3 Sub Group shift schedule,whilst Grampian Police works a variation of a 5 Unit / 3 Sub Group shift schedule.The logical projection of continually sub-dividing the core Units into sub-groups, in order tofit resources to demand, is to eventually arrive at individualised shift patterns for eachpolice officer. This has already been done in Finland for some industrial workers.There must, however, be a downside to this managerial trend away from the traditionalUnits; firstly, in terms of the esprit de corp which Units cultivate within themselves andwithin the police service as a whole and, secondly, in terms of the possible increase in stresson officers associated with working irregular and unpredictable rosters and the effects thathas on an officers family and social life.2x2x2 or 6 on, 4 off Shift PatternThis shift pattern is also known as the Leicestershire 2x2x2 shift pattern and can beinterpreted in two different ways:Firstly, it can be operated as a Five Unit shift system with a shift cycle of 10 weeks. Over the10 week cycle there will always be an Early, Late and Night shift on duty each day.Alternatively, it could be operated by dividing the 5 Units each into 2 sub groups. Howeverthe sub groups of the same Unit would not share the same days off, so the sub groups wouldeffectively become smaller Units. 13
  14. 14. This shift pattern meets all the criteria for the design of a good shift pattern. However, over a6 day block officers can work up to 58 hours which can cause problems with Working Timecompliance if officers are already at the 48 maximum average weekly limit. Week M T W T F S S 1 E E L L1 N N - 2 - - - E1 E L2 L1 3 N N - - - - E1 4 E L L N N - - 5 - - E1 E1 L2 L2 N 6 N - - - - E E1 7 L L N N - - - 8 - E E1 L1 L2 N N 9 - - - - E E L1 10 L N N - - - -E = 0700hrs to 1700hrs E1 = 0700hrs to 1600hrsL = 1400hrs to 0000hrs L1 = 1500hrs to 0100hrs L2 = 1700hrs to 0300hrsN = 2200hrs to 0700hrsVariable Shift Arrangement ( 2002 ) - BedfordshireAs more and more Forces realise that they have a duty of care to minimise the risks ofshiftwork on their staff, they are rightly beginning to consult experts on shiftwork.The following shift pattern was devised in consultation with Shiftwork experts to reduce theadverse effects of shiftwork on staff. It may not meet individual officers personalpreferences, but its design seeks to fulfill the employers obligation under Health and SafetyLegislation. It is Working Time compliant unless night work is identified as involving specialhazards by a risk assessment conducted by the employer or by a Workforce Agreementbetween the Employer and staff association. Week M T W T F S S 1 N N N N+ - - - 2 L1 L L - - E+ E 3 E+ E - - N+ N+ N 4 - - - L+ L+ L+ L 5 - - E E+ E+ - -E = 0700hrs to 1500hrs E+ = 0700hrs to 1700hrsL = 1400hrs to 2400hrs, L+ = 1700hrs to 0300hrs, L1 = 1230hrs to 2230hrsN = 2200hrs to 0700hrs, N+ = 2100hrs to 0700hrsAlthough this is a backward rotating shift pattern, the social and domestic advantages to staffwere considered to outweigh the medical advantages of the forward rotating version. The 14
  15. 15. pattern ensures that no more than 3 or 4 Nights are worked in a row and that there are 3 restdays after each blocks of nightshift to recuperate.The extended Early shift and overlapping Late shift on Mondays is to facilitate 4 hours oftraining for the Late shift before change over. However those overlapping hours can bedispersed elsewhere in the shift pattern according to need.MGS HMNB Clyde Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Mon Tues Week 1 -8 D D N N R R R R D D Week 9 N R R D D R R R R R Week 10 D D D N N R RD = 0700-1900N=1900-0700R= Rest dayNote; the MGS are conditioned to work 42 hours pwDuring the 14 day Floating period combinations of differing lengths of shift up to 84 hourscould be incorporated to meet surges in demand. However at present this is not done and 7twelve hour shifts are worked either Days or Nights or a mixture of both.The cost savings that will be made by the proposed shift pattern (removing the floating shift)will be reduced by the increased weekend premiums.The health benefits from having a break in the fixed / core pattern cannot be over stressed,allowing the circadian rhythms adjust and compensate for any sleep dept during the Fixedperiod of the roster pattern.At present the Float also provides a period where training can be planned.Working Time RegulationsThere is a danger when considering preventative measures in isolation i.e. the non sequitur‘long working hours cause ill health’ therefore reducing hours will make employees healthieris often used as a reason for reducing hours. What we do, how we do it and the environment inwhich we work during a shift have greater impact on the well being of individuals. Long hours wouldnot in its self constitute a high risk to health particularly where the overtime in question is voluntary(Volenti non fit injuria). Any vicarious responsibility would only be considered as a contributory factorif the overtime was compulsory. Occupational health advice to have a maximum 32 hoursovertime/ maximum average 48 hour working week in a rolling reference period of 17 weeks, 15
  16. 16. should in most cases, be as suggested, advice or more appropriately, used as part of an overallstrategy and flexible tool in dealing with health issues associated with shift working. Itsimpact on operational imperatives must also be considered, there are a number of options open forconsideration.Regulation 21 (41) of the Working Time Regulations allows the reference period for themeasurement of working time to be increased to 26 week (Reg 4), this would allow much greaterflexibility when calculating Maxima, by the simple expedient, that it would to a greater extentencompass leave periods (excluded days), i.e. times when manning levels are under the highestpressures. extending the reference period by the amount of leave taken and importantly the restdays immediately before and after the period of leave which are not excluded days:For the purposes of this regulation, a workers average working time for each seven daysduring a reference period shall be determined according to the formula - A+B CWhere - A is the aggregate number of hours comprised in the workers working time during the course of the reference period; B is the aggregate number of hours comprised in his working time during the course of the period beginning immediately after the end of the reference period and ending when the number of days in that subsequent period on which he has worked equals the number of excluded days during the reference period; and C is the in the reference period. (7) In paragraph (6), "excluded days" means days comprised in - (a) any period of annual leave taken by the worker in exercise of his entitlement under regulation 13; (b) any period of sick leave taken by the worker; (c) any period of maternity leave taken by the worker; and (d) any period in respect of which the limit specified in paragraph (1) did not apply in relation to the worker by virtue of regulation 5. Moreover, Regulation 18. Excluded sectors apply to the majority of the MDPGA. Excluded sectors 18. Regulations 4(1) and (2), 6(1), (2) and (7), 7(1), and (6), 8, 10(1), 11(1) and (2), 12(1), 13 and 16 do not apply - to the following sectors of activity - 16
  17. 17. air, rail, road, sea, inland waterway and lake transport;(ii) sea fishing;(iii) other work at sea; orto the activities of doctors in training, or(c) where characteristics peculiar to certain specific[a] services such as the armedforces or the police, or to certain specific activities in the civil protection services,inevitably conflict with the provisions of these Regulations.Compensatory rest 24. Where the application of any provision of these Regulations is excluded byregulation 21 or 22, or is modified or excluded by means of a collective agreement ora workforce agreement under regulation 23(a), and a worker is accordingly requiredby his employer to work during a period which would otherwise be a rest period orrest break -his employer shall wherever possible allow him to take an equivalent period ofcompensatory rest, and(b) in exceptional cases in which it is not possible, for objective reasons, to grant sucha period of rest, his employer shall afford him such protection as may be appropriatein order to safeguard the workers health and safety.Remedies 30. - (1) A worker may present a complaint to an employment tribunal that hisemployer -has refused to permit him to exercise any right he has under -regulation 10(1) or (2), 11(1), (2) or (3), 12(1) or (4) or 13(1);(ii) regulation 24, in so far as it applies where regulation 10(1), 11(1) or (2) or 12(1) ismodified or excluded; or(iii) regulation 25(3) or 27(2); orhas failed to pay him the whole or any part of any amount due to him under regulation14(2) or 16(1).(2) An employment tribunal shall not consider a complaint under this regulationunless it is presented -before the end of the period of three months (or, in a case to which regulation 38(2)applies, six months) beginning with the date on which it is alleged that the exercise ofthe right should have been permitted (or in the case of a rest period or leave extendingover more than one day, the date on which it should have been permitted to begin) or,as the case may be, the payment should have been made; 17
  18. 18. (b) within such further period as the tribunal considers reasonable in a case where it issatisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presentedbefore the end of that period of three or, as the case may be, six months.(3) Where an employment tribunal finds a complaint under paragraph (1)(a) well-founded, the tribunal -shall make a declaration to that effect, and(b) may make an award of compensation to be paid by the employer to the worker.(4) The amount of the compensation shall be such as the tribunal considers just andequitable in all the circumstances having regard to -the employers default in refusing to permit the worker to exercise his right, and(b) any loss sustained by the worker which is attributable to the matters complainedof.(5) Where on a complaint under paragraph (1)(b) an employment tribunal finds thatan employer has failed to pay a worker in accordance with regulation 14(2) or 16(1),it shall order the employer to pay to the worker the amount which it finds to be due tohim.Right not to suffer detriment 31. - (1) After section 45 of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted -" Working time cases. 45A. - (1) A worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act,or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that the worker -refused (or proposed to refuse) to comply with a requirement which the employerimposed (or proposed to impose) in contravention of the Working Time Regulations1998,(b) refused (or proposed to refuse) to forgo a right conferred on him by thoseRegulations,(c) failed to sign a workforce agreement for the purposes of those Regulations, or toenter into, or agree to vary or extend, any other agreement with his employer which isprovided for in those Regulations,(d) being -a representative of members of the workforce for the purposes of Schedule 1 to thoseRegulations, or(ii) a candidate in an election in which any person elected will, on being elected, besuch a representative, 18
  19. 19. performed (or proposed to perform) any functions or activities as such arepresentative or candidate,(e) brought proceedings against the employer to enforce a right conferred on him bythose Regulations, or(f) alleged that the employer had infringed such a right.(2) It is immaterial for the purposes of subsection (1)(e) or (f) -whether or not the worker has the right, or(b) whether or not the right has been infringed,but, for those provisions to apply, the claim to the right and that it has been infringedmust be made in good faith. (3) It is sufficient for subsection (1)(f) to apply that the worker, without specifyingthe right, made it reasonably clear to the employer what the right claimed to havebeen infringed was. (4) This section does not apply where a worker is an employee and the detriment inquestion amounts to dismissal within the meaning of Part X, unless the dismissal is incircumstances in which, by virtue of section 197, Part X does not apply."(2) After section 48(1) of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted the followingsubsection -" (1ZA) A worker may present a complaint to an employment tribunal that he hasbeen subjected to a detriment in contravention of section 45A."(3) In section 49 of the 1996 Act[18] (remedies) -in subsection (2), for "subsection (6)" there shall be substituted "subsections (5A) and(6)", and(b) after subsection (5), there shall be inserted -" (5A) Where -the complaint is made under section 48 (1ZA),(b) the detriment to which the worker is subjected is the termination of his workerscontract, and(c) that contract is not a contract of employment,any compensation must not exceed the compensation that would be payable underChapter II of Part X if the worker had been an employee and had been dismissed forthe reason specified in section 101A." 19
  20. 20. (4) In section 192(2) of the 1996 Act (provisions applicable in relation to service inthe armed forces), after paragraph (a) there shall be inserted -" (aa) in Part V, section 45A, and sections 48 and 49 so far as relating to thatsection,".(5) In sections 194(2)(c), 195(2)(c) and 202(2)(b) of the 1996 Act, for "sections 44and 47"there shall be substituted "sections 44, 45A and 47". (6) In section 200(1) of the 1996 Act (which lists provisions of the Act which donot apply to employment in police service), after "45," there shall be inserted "45A,". (7) In section 205 of the 1996 Act (remedy for infringement of certain rights), aftersubsection (1) there shall be inserted the following subsection -" (1ZA) In relation to the right conferred by section 45A, the reference in subsection(1) to an employee has effect as a reference to a worker."Unfair dismissal 32. - (1) After section 101 of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted the followingsection -" Working time cases. 101A. An employee who is dismissed shall be regarded for the purposes of thisPart as unfairly dismissed if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) forthe dismissal is that the employee -refused (or proposed to refuse) to comply with a requirement which the employerimposed (or proposed to impose) in contravention of the Working Time Regulations1998,(b) refused (or proposed to refuse) to forgo a right conferred on him by thoseRegulations,(c) failed to sign a workforce agreement for the purposes of those Regulations, or toenter into, or agree to vary or extend, any other agreement with his employer which isprovided for in those Regulations, or(d) being -a representative of members of the workforce for the purposes of Schedule 1 to thoseRegulations, or(ii) a candidate in an election in which any person elected will, on being elected, besuch a representative,performed (or proposed to perform) any functions or activities as such arepresentative or candidate."(2) In section 104 of the 1996 Act (right of employees not to be unfairly dismissed forasserting particular rights) in subsection (4) - 20
  21. 21. at the end of paragraph (b), the word "and" shall be omitted, and(b) after paragraph (c), there shall be inserted the words -" and(d) the rights conferred by the Working Time Regulations 1998."(3) In section 105 of the 1996 Act (redundancy as unfair dismissal), after subsection(4) there shall be inserted the following subsection -" (4A) This subsection applies if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason)for which the employee was selected for dismissal was one of those specified insection 101A."(4) In sections 108(3) and 109(2) of the 1996 Act, after paragraph (d) there shall beinserted -" (dd) section 101A applies,".(5) In sections 117(4)(b), 118(3), 120(1), 122(3), 128(1)(b) and 129(1) of the 1996Act, after "100(1)(a) and (b)," there shall be inserted "101A(d),". (6) In section 202(2) (cases where disclosure of information is restricted on groundof national security) -in paragraph (g)(i), after "100" there shall be inserted ", 101A(d)", and(b) in paragraph (g)(ii), after "of that section," there shall be inserted "or by reason ofthe application of subsection (4A) in so far as it applies where the reason (or, if morethan one, the principal reason) for which an employee was selected for dismissal wasthat specified in section 101A(d)".(7) In section 209(2) of the 1996 Act (which lists provisions excluded from the scopeof the power to amend the Act by order), after "101," in paragraph (e) there shall beinserted "101A,". (8) In sections 237(1A) and 238(2A) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 1992[19] (cases where employee can complain of unfairdismissal notwithstanding industrial action at time of dismissal), after "100" thereshall be inserted ", 101A(d)". (9) In section 10(5)(a) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996[20] (cases whereMinisters certificate is not conclusive evidence that action was taken to safeguardnational security), after "100" there shall be inserted ", 101A(d)". 21
  22. 22. The need to reduce costs as a result of illness is, in every ones interest and as an organisationto be ‘match fit’ is crucial. Training and information is recognised as an important tool andwe seem to be making very positive steps in areas of e.g. Customer care and training for firstand second line managers in recognising stress in others etc. However in order to be match fitas an organisation, individuals have to be match fit. Recognising the causes as well as thesymptoms of ill health would take us that much closer to developing a fitter organisation.Many variables and stressors have been identified that possibly contribute toward intoleranceof shift work and subsequent negative health effects. Costa (1996 et al) gives acomprehensive list of factors which can impinge on an individual’s ability to adapt to shiftwork. These factors have negative or positive effects on individual tolerance to shift workaccording to different circumstances i.e. an individual’s need for sleep can be dependent ondifferent social/domestic factors such as number and age of children. Intolerance to shiftworking has been postulated to follow a developmental process that exhibits four mainphases: adaptation, sensitisation, accumulation and manifestation (Haider 1981 et al). Thereis no single solution to the problems encountered (Monk and Folkard, 1992).Developments 2003 - 2007If managers have conducted proper risk assessments, and have identified particular activitiesas involving significant risk, then the choice of shift patterns for those employees who areclassed as night workers, when engaged in those activities, is further reduced by therestriction on the length of the night shift to 8 hours.When considering new Shift patterns or modifying existing ones the WTR allows flexibilityin so far as the standard 17 week monitoring period can be extended to 26 weeksOn 1 July 1998 the Police (Health and Safety) Act 1997 came into force, formallyrecognising police officers as employees for the purposes of regulations made under Part 1of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.On 14 April 1999 the Police (Health and Safety) Regulations 1999 came into force,formally recognising that police officers were now fully covered by the health and safetylegislation.Part 1 of the 1974 Act places a duty of care on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonablypracticable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This duty extends tothe provision of systems of work, which is interpreted as including hours of work and, inparticular, shift work. (Section 1).Under the same legislation an employee has a general duty of care while at work to takereasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of any other persons who may beaffected by his acts or omissions at work (Section 7).Since the European Council Directive No.93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerningcertain aspects of the organisation of working time, Member States have been under an 22
  23. 23. obligation to ensure that employers who intend to organise work according to a certainpattern take account of the general principle of adapting work to the worker.As a response to that directive the Working Time Regulations 1998 were introduced in theUK. These regulations lay down statutory requirements on employers to restrict and monitortheir employees working time, and give employees certain rights with regard maximumworking hours, rest breaks and rest periods. The Working Time Regulations 1998 came into force on 1st October 1998 and applyspecifically to the Police Service by virtue of Regulation 41.The consequences of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Working TimeRegulations 1998 on the Police Service are that:  Police managers are now legally bound to produce shift patterns which seek to minimize the adverse effects of shift work upon their staff; and  Staff have an obligation to be aware of the consequences of shift work on their health and safety and that of their colleagues.Guidance on how the Working Time Regulations should be interpreted and applied isprovided by the Department of Trade and Industry."Select a shiftwork schedule that would have the least harmfuleffect on the employees health, family and personal life - consultemployees and specialists in shift scheduling." (International HazardData Sheet on Occupation for Police/Law Enforcement Officer, International LabourOrganisation, 1999)The International Labour Organisation ( www.ilo.org ) recognises shiftwork as anergonomic, psychological and organisational hazard related to the job, and states, as thepreventative measure: " Select a shiftwork schedule that would have the least harmful effect on the employeeshealth, family and personal life - consult employees and specialists in shift scheduling."The Health and Safety Executive ( www.hse.gov.uk), in their book "Reducing Error andInfluencing Behaviour" (HSE 1999) recommend a best practice management approachtowards minimising the impact of shift work, which will go beyond what is required by thehealth and safety legislation and will include:  careful planning of shift rostering taking into account knowledge of the effects of biological rhythms;  education of shift workers on sleep routines, nutrition, effects on family and social life, exercise;  environmental design changes, especially those aspects which can improve alertness such as temperature, lighting and comfort levels;  providing medical advice for shift workers, especially for those with existing medical conditions. 23
  24. 24. Recommending a best practice management approach to minimising the impact ofshiftwork, and specifying preventative and control measures, suggests that the HSE alsorecognises shiftwork per se as an occupational health and safety hazard.If shiftwork is an OHS hazard, then employers are required, by virtue of Regulation 3 of theManagement of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to assess the risks ofshiftwork in the same way as any other OHS hazard using, for example, the HSEs 5-Steps toRisk Assessment approach, namely: 1. Identify the hazards. 2. Decide who may be harmed and how. 3. Evaluate the risks and decide the control measures necessary. 4. Record the findings. 5. Review the assessment from time to time and revise it if necessary.The adverse effects associated with shiftwork and irregular working hours include:  increased risk of accidents and injuries caused by sleep debt and fatigue.  increased risk to physical health caused by disruption to biological rhythms and disturbed eating patterns.  increased risk to mental health caused by disruption to biological rhythms and working unsociable/extended hours.  increased exposure to other occupational hazards such as chemicals, heat, noise, poor lighting, manual handling and violence.In Australia, the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and the AustralianCouncil of Trade Unions both recognise shiftwork as an OHS hazard and have publishedguidance for employers on assessing and managing the risks associated with shiftwork.The first and foremost control measure is to eliminate, or reduce as far as possible, the needfor shiftwork.The second control measure is to adopt shift schedules that are based on ergonomic andmedical recommendations.In order to demonstrate their general duty of care under the health and safety legislation,Police Forces in the UK need to consider appointing or consulting a competent person, asdescribed under Regulation 7 of the MHSWR 1999, who "has sufficient training andexperience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him to assist" them in devisingsuitable shift schedules.Police Forces also need to review their traditional organisation of work and working practicesin the light of the Working Time Regulations and health and safety legislation to ensure thatofficers do not work excessive hours, and that they are given the opportunity to take the restbreaks and rest periods to which they are entitled.How do you Risk Assess Shift Schedules?The Health and Safety Executive have published a report "Validation and development of amethod for assessing the risks arising from mental fatigue", Contract Research Report 24
  25. 25. 254/1999, which involves the calculation of a Fatigue Index to help assess the risks arisingfrom the impact of shift schedules on mental fatigue in safety critical work.The Fatigue Index requires the calculation of 5 factors, namely shift start time (F1), shiftduration (F2), rest period between shifts (F3), breaks during shifts (F4) and cumulativefatigue (F5), which are added together to give an overall index for the shift schedule.The Fatigue Index provides a straightforward way of comparing the features of two workingpatterns in terms of their relative contributions to fatigue. It does not provide an absolutemeasure of fatigue.The calculations involved are not complicated although they can be time consuming. TheHSE suggests that they could be incorporated into a spreadsheet for automatic calculation.The Fatigue Index has been presented to a wide range of industries and the feedbacksuggests that it may be a useful tool for providing employers with an initial risk assessment ofthe levels of fatigue associated with a particular shift schedule.The MDPGA should perhaps consider using the Fatigue Index as an initial means ofassessing their own shift schedules.Night WorkIn 1990 the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation convened inGeneva and considered certain proposals with regard to night work. The Conferencedetermined that some of those proposals should be adopted and should take the form of aninternational Convention (the Night Work Convention 1990) whilst other proposals shouldbe adopted and should take the form of a Recommendation (the Night WorkRecommendation 1990), supplementing those in the Night Work Convention 1990.Paragraph 3(1) of the Recommendation states that the provisions of the Recommendationmay be implemented by laws or regulations, collective agreements, arbitration awards orcourt decisions, a combination of these means or in any other manner appropriate to nationalconditions and practice.Paragraph 4(1) states that the normal hours of work for night workers should not exceed eightin any 24 hour period in which they perform night work, except in the case of work whichincludes substantial periods of mere attendance or stand-by.Paragraph 4(2) further states that the normal hours of night workers should generally be lesson average than and, in any case, not exceed on average those workers performing the samework to the same requirement by day in the branch of activity or the undertaking concerned.Paragraph 11 states in determining the content of the tasks assigned to night workers, accountshould be taken of the nature of night work and of the effects of environmental factors andforms of work organisation. Special attention should be paid to factors such as toxicsubstances, noise and vibration, lighting levels and to forms of work organisation involvingheavy physical or mental strain or monotonous. Cumulative effects from such factors andforms of work organisation should be avoided or reduced. 25
  26. 26. The European Council Directive No.93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certainaspects of the organisation of working time does not go as far as the Night WorkRecommendation 1990 in limiting the hours of night workers. Article 8(1) states that thenormal hours of work for night workers must not exceed an average of eight hours in any 24hour period (over the reference period) and qualifies this in Article 8(2) by further stating thatonly night workers whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strainmust not work more than eight hours in any period of 24 hours during which they performnight work.For the purposes of Article 8, work involving special hazards or heavy physical or mentalstrain shall be defined by national legislation and/or practice or by collective agreements oragreements concluded between the two sides of industry, taking account of the specificeffects and hazards of night work. In other words the EC Directive avoided being asprescriptive as the Night Work Recommendation 1990 in defining such effects and hazardsitself.The provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 with regard night work follow thoseof the EC Directive. Regulation 6(1) reiterates the provisions of Article 8(1) whilstRegulation 6(7) reiterates the provisions of Article 8(2):However, in addition Regulation 6(8) states that the work of a night worker shall be regardedas involving special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain if (a) it is identified as such in(i) a collective agreement, or (ii) a workforce agreement, which takes account of the specificeffects and hazards of night work, or (b) it is recognised in a risk assessment made by theemployer under Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations1992 as involving a significant risk to the health or safety of workers employed by him.It is worth noting that Regulation 6(1) only mentions normal hours of work. It makes nomention of hours of work engaged in on night work. So, as long as during the referenceperiod a night worker does not exceed the average limit on normal hours determined by theformula in 6(5) there would appear to be no problem with him/her working more than 8 hourson nightshifts. It seems a pointless formula to include, as basically a worker would have toexceed the maximum average 48 hour weekly limit over the reference period before he wasin any danger of exceeding the night work limit.It should also be noted that when Regulation 6(7) makes special provision for work that"involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain" it does not say that thatwork is only carried out at night. It says that if someone, who has been classed as a nightworker under the Regulations, undertakes work that has been recognised as involving specialhazards or heavy physical or mental strain (at any time of the day) then he should not workfor any more than 8 hours in any 24 hour period during which he is specifically performingnight work.So, the question is NOT whether night work in the police service involves special hazards orheavy physical or mental strain. It is whether night workers in the police are undertakingwork which, when performed at any time of the day, involves special hazards or heavyphysical or mental strain. If they are, then their working hours should be restricted to eighthours in any 24 hours during which they perform night work. There is a subtle difference! 26
  27. 27. In applying Regulation 6(8) to the Police service, it would appear that it is at the discretion ofeach Chief Constable whether or not to agree, with his staff associations, that police dutiesinvolve special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain. The Home Office Manual onPolice Health and Safety, Volume Two, states that "By its very nature policing has alwaysbeen a hazardous occupation". To argue that this statement is an acknowledgement thatpolice work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain is perhaps as equallyerroneous as to argue that it doesnt. Risk assessments are task specific and therefore, eachactivity or duty needs to be properly assessed to determine the level of risk associated with it.Volume Three of the Manual, A Guide on Risk Assessment (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/phsint.html ), is intended to assist police managers to conductrisk assessments of various police activities. Generic risk assessments are provided astemplates only, and it is not sufficient for Forces to adopt them as their actual riskassessmentsPOLICE FEDERATION‘In conducting their own risk assessments, Forces may determine that some police activitiesinvolve Medium or High risk. It has been accepted at ACPO level that where this is thecase, then that activity involves a significant risk. Where such an activity is recognised asinvolving significant risk then by virtue of Regulation 6(8)(b) it is regarded as involvingspecial hazards or heavy physical or mental strain, for the purposes of the Working TimeRegulations. Therefore such a risk assessment would determine whether or not those officerswho are classed as night workers and who carry out that activity, should work for any morethan 8 hours in any 24 hour period during which they perform night work. This would, inturn, determine the type of shift pattern that is appropriate for those officers and, in particular,the length of their night shift duty’.‘It would be helpful, and perhaps appropriate and in spirit with the provisions of the NightWork Recommendations and the EC Directive, for a national agreement to be reachedbetween the Official Side and Staff Side, as to which policing activities involve significantrisk and which do not, in order to promote uniformity in the application of this Regulationwithin the Police Service’.The determinant factors here are OPERATIONAL IMPERATIVES because one force does ita certain way and saves some monies does not mean that it may be suitable for other forceswith different geographic and or demographic considerations.Question: What is the difference between Jet-lag and Shift-lag?Answer: Jet-lag is the transient sleep-related symptoms experienced when travelling acrossdifferent time zones, whereas shift-lag is the cumulative effect of persistent disruption tocircadian rhythms caused by working rotating shifts.A recent study of Olympic gymnasts travelling across several time zones showed that even 11days after flying they were still experiencing disruption to their blood pressure and heart ratepatterns, and changes in blood concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol and melatonin - ahormone important for sleep - a fortnight afterwards. Remember that the next time you goabroad ! 27
  28. 28. Question: What is melatonin?Answer: Melatonin is a hormone which is released by the pineal gland in the brain and isthought to help regulate the circadian rhythms and the sleep wake cycle. Melatoninproduction normally peaks during the night. Sunlight inhibits production.Studies have shown that in permanent night shift workers the production of melatonin can beso affected that it disrupts the body clock and causes sleeping problems. In such cases studieshave shown Melatonin taken in supplement form to be of benefit.Those working rotating shifts, however, do not suffer the same disruption in melatoninproduction and do not appear to benefit from this treatment.Melatonin should never be taken without first consulting your doctor.A break in the Fixed Roster System such as having a floating shift breaks the damagingcycle of shifts.Cost benefit Analysis Risk AssessmentsThere are two types of risk assessment matrices commonly used in carrying out morecomplex assessments, i.e. shift working. These are referred to as qualitative and semi-quantitative. The first uses qualitative measures of probability and consequences, the seconduses attributable risk as quantitative measure of probability, whilst using qualitative measuresof consequence.There are two points to be considered.  The Hazard assessment matrix which uses qualitative terms for probability, may be more suited to ranking occupational health risks after carrying out site surveys.  The Hazard assessment matrix which uses attributable risk as quantitative measure of probability may a more useful tool to determine occupational health priorities from existing epidemiological data.Conceptualisation of riskCare should be taken that the individual carrying out assessments maintains a high degree ofobjectivity as studies have shown that biases and predisposition towards precautionarymeasures is strongest where knowledge of risk is substantially accurate, perceived severity,susceptibility and perceived benefits are high, and where the costs of compliance are low.Also of relevance, and linked to the notion of vulnerability, is a widely reported bias relatingto the tendency of individuals to consider themselves personally immune or that theirpersonal opinions or beliefs are right. The apparent predisposition towards ‘unrealisticoptimism’ (Weinstein, 1980, 1984) 28
  29. 29. The following extract from a health and safety Executive Contract Research Report usingshift workers from Lothian and Borders Police Force as its study sample;An intervention using a self-help guide to improve the coping behaviour ofnightshift workers and its evaluation Professor Zander Wedderburn PhD,FBPsS David Rankin MA (Hons)BackgroundThere has been a multitude of research published on shiftworkers and the effects ofshiftworking, although little information exists for the lay person to have access to inthe UK. Guidelines or booklets containing information on techniques to combat theeffects of shiftwork across a range of lifestyle issues have been in existence for manyyears (e.g. Community Health Network 1984; Monk 1988b; Monk, and Folkard 1992).Although comprehensive and complete these guides are relatively few in numbers andwere not widely distributed (De Haan and Jansen, 1989).Even though guidelines for shiftworkers have been available for some time, Tepas(1993) states that he was unable to find a single objective study with suitableexperimental controls which demonstrates the effectiveness of educational booklets toaid adjustment to shiftworking. A literature search fails to identify any studies thatexamine the use of educational booklets, used alone as a pure measure of self-help in ashiftworking population. Studies have been conducted examining educationalprogrammes that utilise coping strategies (e.g. Popkin, 1994; Smith-Coggins et al.,1997), but none on the use of an educational booklet alone. The current study used“The Shiftworkers’ Guide” (Wedderburn and King, 1996) in an intervention that seeksto distribute information, collated from years of research, in the form of a self-helpbooklet, in an attempt to educate shiftworkers in coping strategies to combat thenegative effects of shiftwork.The study examines a sample of shiftworking police officers using data collected viaself-report survey questionnaires. All measures required problems to be self-reportedand objective measures (e.g. polysomnographic data) are unavailable. All measures arecollected from a sample of shiftworkers so no comparisons can be made with dayworking controls.At the end of a previous study of providing three counselling sessions for shiftworkersto help them improve their health-oriented behaviours (Quinn et al. 1995), the companyasked for a booklet to be written, for the benefit of other employees who had not beenincluded in the study. This resulted in “The Shiftworkers’ Guide” by A.A.I.Wedderburn and Catherine King, a short 22 page pamphlet, illustrated with companyphotographs, and designed to fit easily in a pocket (8¼” x 4”).Its contents essentially provide the mainstream distilled wisdom of researchers onpractical ideas for three-shiftworkers. After an introduction about biological rhythms,there are sections on:  Sleeping  Eating  Family life  Social life  Stress and anxiety, and  Exercise. 29
  30. 30. There is also a brief diary included, to allow shiftworkers to keep a record of their sleepduration and sleep difficulties, eating and drinking, so that they can work out forthemselves what is going wrong, and therefore what solutions they might be best to try.The guide deliberately avoids more controversial areas, such as the use of bright light.There is little doubt that bright light, applied at the trough of the main rhythms, canspeed up adaptation to night shift (Czeisler et al., 1986). It can achieve this even whenapplied to the blood stream by light at the back of the knee. The practical problem isthat it has not yet been proved to be of use in the field: for example, the original studyrequired attention to the bright light for 5 minutes in every 10; and applying the light atthe wrong time can drive the rhythms in the opposite direction.The potential usefulness of a guide like this depends on three arguments:1. There is no publicly available guide like this for shiftworkers in the UnitedKingdom.2. There is evidence from several studies that many shiftworkers use patently badeating and sleeping practices.3. A self-help guide like this might help them.1.2 Variables that affect shiftwork toleranceMany variables and stressors have been identified that possibly contribute towardintolerance of shiftwork and subsequent negative health effects. Costa (1996) gives acomprehensive list of factors which can impinge on an individual’s ability to adapt toshiftwork (see Table 1.1). These factors have negative or positive effects on individualtolerance to shiftwork according to different circumstances i.e. an individual’s need forsleep can be dependent on different social/domestic factors such as number and age ofchildren.Intolerance to shiftworking has been postulated to follow a developmental process thatexhibits four main phases: adaptation, sensitisation, accumulation and manifestation(Haider et al., 1981).1. ‘Adaptation’ during years 1-5 to shiftworking involves an individual beginning theprocess of adapting to alterations in hours of work. Work life and social/domesticcircumstances are the main influences on health.2. ‘Sensitisation’ (years 6-15) involves changing priorities. Individuals seek tobecome more financially secure and obtain satisfaction at work (pay andconditions) and at home (material gain).3. Health is affected during ‘accumulation’ (years 20+) as ageing and exposure toshiftworking become more salient. Risky behaviours such as poor diet andsmoking are related to health in this phase.4. ‘Manifestation’ (years 40+) is the point when health effects are most obvious e.g.gastrointestinal complaints may be at their highest.This process of adjustment to shiftwork is postulated to proceed at different rates fordifferent individuals (Haider et al., 1981), and, when coupled with the large range offactors seen in table 1.1, can produce a high level of inter-individual variation inproblem development (Costa, 1996).3Table 1.1 Factors influencing tolerance to shiftwork (from Costa, 1996).A Individual Characteristics- age- sex- health status- length of shiftwork status- phase in life cycle 30
  31. 31. - behavioural characteristics and personality traits (morningness – eveningness, introversion –extraversion, neuroticism)- eating and sleeping habits- circadian structureB Family Circumstances- marital status- number and age of children- socio-economic level- Consort’s (shift) work- housing- family attitudesC Work Situation- work sector- work environment and work load- job characteristics- income level- qualifications- job satisfaction and career opportunities- human relations- canteen and medical facilitiesD Shiftwork Schedule- continuous, semicontinuous- rotating or permanent- length of the cycle- number of consecutive nights- number of nights per year- direction and speed of rotation- free weekends per cycle- working hours- hours of start and end of the shifts- number of crewsE Socio-environmental conditions- labour market- local shiftwork traditions- leisure activities- social support- community size and attitude- commuting times and transport41.3 Factors affecting adjustment to shiftworkingThe diurnal pattern of most humans follows a circadian rhythm that revolves arounddaylight hours and recurs every 24 hours. Most human functions (including behavioursand biological processes) are regulated according to this 24-hour pattern.Behaviourally these include the sleep-wake cycle, which usually follows a diurnalpattern with sleep occurring at night, and working and taking leisure during theday/evening hours. Biological functions are also regulated by circadian rhythms,including deep body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate (Minors andWaterhouse, 1990).Most circadian rhythms reach their peak values during the daytime. A night shift workerassumes a nocturnal environment, with work conducted at night and sleep/leisure taken 31
  32. 32. during the day/afternoon and/or evening. The displacement of time for shiftworkersaffects the sleep-wake cycle (Kleitman, 1963) and the functions of the gastrointestinalsystem (Vener et al., 1989). These displacements are probably the largest factors thatcan produce the objective and subjective health problems associated with workingshifts.The relative intransigence of circadian rhythms to adjust to phase shifts in time hasimportant implications for the well-being of shiftworkers. Shiftworkers who worknights and sleep during the day have many of their biological rhythms only beginningto shift in phase after a few days and even then only very gradually. As rhythms adjustslowly, shiftworkers who work night shift have diurnally orientated temperaturerhythms which are out of synchronisation with the sleep-wake cycle meaning thattemperature is rising as they attempt to sleep. With consecutive night shifts thetemperature rhythms begin to adjust but only very slowly. This has effects on fatigueand alertness (Folkard et al., 1995) and also produces negative health effects, reducesproductivity and has implications for safety (Rosa, 1990).There is also an increasing literature that demonstrates that shiftwork does havegenerally detrimental effects for health in the long run (Costa, 1999). The most vivideffects are on gastro-intestinal function, but there are also reports on increased risk ofheart disease. There is also a sizeable literature which shows that shiftwork can affectmental health.Lastly, in spite of a massive decline in traditional shiftworking industries, like coal,steel and shipbuilding, there has been a rapid expansion of shiftwork in the servicesector, such as call centres. Shiftwork has not been abolished, and the problems itcreates for those who work it are still a challenge to researchers and managers.1.4 Reviews of self-help literatureShiftwork is a multifaceted problem that requires multifaceted solutions (Monk andFolkard, 1992). A range of solutions have been advocated which include the followingrecommendations taken from Costa (1999):  Reduce shiftwork (especially night shift) as much as possible.  Design the shift system according to ergonomic criteria (Knauth, 1993).  Try countermeasures against sleep problems, problems with appetite and digestion, social problems, deficits in training and education.  Learn to adopt an adequate coping behaviour.  Reduce negative working conditions e.g. night work plus noise or unfavourable climatic conditions.  Carry out regular medical surveillance and counselling.  Improve laws e.g. The Working Time Directive.  On-Shift strategies (bright light, napping).  Selection strategies to remove the most vulnerable.Solutions aimed at alleviating the problems experienced by shiftworkers have tended tofocus on one domain whereas there is no single solution to the problems encountered(Monk and Folkard, 1992). Singular approaches aimed at providing solutions includethe use of napping (e.g. Bonnet, 1991), optimal shift systems (Knauth, 1993), exerciseregimes (Harma et al., 1988a; 1988b) or as part of a more widespread approachtargeting behavioural change through interventions such as counselling, educationalmaterials and educational programmes. Optimal solutions have been recommended toinclude a range of measures described by Knauth above, bringing together managers 32
  33. 33. and employers in a more comprehensive systems based approach (Tepas and Monk,1987).A review of models of shiftwork and health by Taylor et al. (1997) identifies thattransactional models of shiftwork and health provide alternative interventions to aidshiftworkers where responsibility for ill-health is transferred at least in part from shiftsystems to the transaction between individuals and work schedules. This has lead tothe development of a wide range of coping strategies that aim to improve sleep, diet,and social/domestic life behaviours (e.g. Monk, 1988a) delivered through educationalmaterial using a variety of techniques such as self-help, counselling and educationalprogrammes.Educational self-help booklets or material (e.g. audio tapes or audio-visual tapes) are awidely distributed means of delivering information on a range of topics that aim toproduce a change in knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in the field of healtheducation. Self help materials are available for a range of problems including fearreduction (Gould et al., 1990); smoking cessation (Glynn et al., 1990); insomnia(Morawetz, 1989); and diet and exercise (Hagen, 1974, cited in Gould and Clum,1993). These educational materials have been used to reduce the cost of treatment andprovide behavioural change services to many people who do not currently have accessto them (Morawetz, 1989).The prevalence of health problems in shiftworking populations and the range ofdiseases, which are at least partly attributable to shiftworking, suggest that some formof widespread remedial action should be taken. There is no ideal shift system to relieveall health-related complaints (Folkard, 1992) which has lead to the development ofinterventions that deliver and enhance coping skills in shiftworkers. Educationalbooklets are one method in which a range of behavioural coping strategies can bedelivered en masse to all current and prospective shiftworkers with the aim that thesecoping strategies should lead to changes in behaviour and attitudes, easing adjustmentto shiftworking.Educational booklets for shiftworking personnel have been in existence for over twentyyears, providing a variety of behavioural coping strategies that a worker can use to aidadjustment to shiftwork. According to Tepas (1993) educational booklets used inshiftworking populations first appeared in Sweden. Ostberg distributed an undatedpamphlet that is probably over 25 years old. Following this a range of books, bookletsand pamphlets have been produced by both academics and consultants (with someoverlap) which appear in the following chronological order:  Community Health Network (1984) ‘Shiftwork: How to Cope’. This publication used pictorial guides with easy-to-read text in sections devoted to sleep, eating and stress/family matters.  Campbell and Singer (1987) included a chapter on adaptation to shiftworking in a book entitled ‘How to take care of yourself’.  Corlett, Quinnec and Paoli (1988) ‘Adapting shiftwork arrangements’.  Moore-Ede (1988) ‘The Clocks that Time Us’.  Monk (1988b) ‘How to make shiftwork safe and productive’.  Wallace (1991) ‘How to survive shiftwork’.  Wedderburn (1991) edited an edition of BEST (Bulletin of European Shiftwork  Topics, now known as Bulletin of European Studies of Time) comprising 86 guidelines for shiftworkers and management devised by six European researchers.  Monk and Folkard, (1992) ‘Making Shiftwork Tolerable’. 33
  34. 34.  SynchroTech (1993) ‘The Shift worker’s Handbook’.  Wedderburn and King (1996) ‘The Shiftworkers’ Guide’.There are other pamphlets that the author is aware of that are not discussed here and ahuge range of information is also available for shiftworkers on the internet using theWorld Wide Web. There are a prodigious number of websites devoted to shiftwork andshiftwork problems and these have been devised by business, http://shiftworker.com/and individuals, http://www.members.tripod.com/~shiftworker/effects.htmlincorporating advice and links to other sites. The reader is referred to the current guide(available from the authors) as an example of the nature of the content as the variouspieces of literature described cover much of the same ground in advising shiftworkersof health changing behaviours through the dissemination of coping strategies.As yet there are few interventions with suitable experimental controls whichdemonstrate that any of these documents, used alone, promote adjustment to shiftwork(Tepas, 1993). Two studies have been conducted that examine aspects of copingstrategies used in self-help materials for shiftworkers although neither of theserepresents a systematic evaluation of a guide used alone to produce changes in health.Koen and Lindsay (1986) conducted a very basic evaluation of a booklet using apre/post design on one group of shiftworkers (n = 49). The pre/post measures usedstructured interviews before and one month after distribution of the guide. Findingswere minimal with 54% of workers saying their knowledge about the effects ofshiftwork had improved, whilst 70% reported they had learned something new from thebooklet. Changes in behaviour were reported by 51% of the sample although it was notspecified what amount of the population had changed behaviour in each particular area.The major areas where change was reported occurred for sleep, eating habits, caffeineand alcohol consumption.Wedderburn (1991) edited the contributions of six European researchers to produce theBulletin of European Shiftwork Topics 3 (BEST 3) “Guidelines for Shiftworkers”.This contained 86 separate guidelines for shiftworkers broken into six sections anddescribed as follows:  14 rules for a good shift system.  36 steps to try for good sleep on shiftwork.  12 guidelines for eating on shiftwork.  6 rules for physical fitness.  11 rules for staying a happy social person.  7 rules for managers and other top people.The guidelines were compiled from a range of different research sources and althoughsome are contentious they were prepared in a manner that favoured one argument overanother. The provision of counter arguments and sources was given alongside eachstrategy to allow shiftworkers and their managers to make informed choices(Wedderburn, 1991). Wedderburn and Scholarios (1993) assessed 24 guidelines takenfrom the BEST publication in a survey of mixed sex industrial 3 shiftworkers (n = 120)from two different factories. The 24 personally oriented guidelines were extracted andmixed with sixteen buffer items and put into a questionnaire that asked respondents to‘Choose the answer which is closest to what you normally do’, with responsealternatives of ‘Yes’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘No’ and ‘Don’t Know’.Six guidelines were found to be supported by a majority (‘Yes’ > 50% support) whichincluded advice to avoid sleeping pills; using a reliable alarm; planning time off;avoiding alcohol before sleep; having a short sleep (2-4hrs) after last night shift; andmaintaining a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Six guidelines were opposed 34
  35. 35. by a majority (‘No’ > 50% support) and twelve guidelines were neither supported noropposed by a majority (‘Yes’ < 50% > ‘No’).Wedderburn argues that some of the guidelines may be viewed as extreme and thiscould account for their rejection (e.g. ‘Use earplugs in bed’). Resistance to othersleeping guidelines may have arisen because they were contingent upon a need forsilence. The requirement for other members of family to maintain silence may notapply to all day sleeping shiftworkers. Resistance to eating guidelines varies and maybe due to differing effects of fatty foods, an unwillingness to interrupt sleep anddifferential effects of caffeine on individuals. Wedderburn and Scholarios note thatresistance to the advice may imply that social pressures and immediate pleasures mayovercome an adherence to a strict routine of sleep hygiene.Therefore although a range of booklets containing coping strategies exist there has beenno investigation into their effects upon health-related attitudes and behaviours.Wedderburn and Scholarios conclude that the framework of the guidelines examined intheir study invite further self testing and recommend a formal evaluated attempt atintervention to refine and determine their effects.An evaluation into the effects of the large range of booklets and pamphlets in existencefor shiftworkers is necessary because no such study has previously been performed(Penn and Bootzin, 1990; Tepas, 1993; Taylor et al., 1997). This lack of evaluation isproblematic as without examining guidelines as a form of intervention there is no basisfor refining and improving the strategies used to promote health behaviour. Afterevaluating 24 guidelines taken from BEST 3, Wedderburn states that:“Guidelines…invite self testing and experimentation, and it is appropriate to concludethat this process, together with some more formal evaluations and interventions, willone day result in better founded and more acceptable guidelines”. (Wedderburn andScholarios, 1993, p216).These booklets provide and expose shiftworkers to health-relevant messages yet nonehave been evaluated to determine their applicability and efficacy within a targetpopulation of shiftworking personnel. This may represent a danger to those at whomguides are aimed as individual differences may require that different coping strategiesbe targeted at different people. The proliferation of booklets in existence alsorepresents a danger to research as Wedderburn says:“There does seem to be a real need to carry out controlled intervention studies, to testout guidelines thoroughly, because without this, one set of guidelines tends to echoprevious ones, with the danger that proposals come to be accepted by sheer repetition,rather than by careful testing” (Wedderburn, 1993, p.242). 35

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