Researchers publish guiding principles for the duration of the work shift

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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) have published evidence-based guiding principles to help employers determine the optimal length of work shifts for their jobs. With a process that assesses risks, considers countermeasures, and establishes an informed approach to determining and evaluating the duration of change, employers can make decisions about the duration of change that manage fatigue-related risks, while also maintaining high productivity and security.

“Historically, change the guide has set the maximum duration of change in a single approach that focused primarily on physical fatigue, ”said Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, corresponding author of the paper and physician in the sleep medicine division of Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “Instead of providing a single generic recommendation, these new involves having a more comprehensive view when setting personalized shift times for each individual job, taking into account not only physical fatigue but also mental fatigue, time of day, work requirements, security risks, and health “.

Determining the optimal duration of the work shift is an important issue that affects performance and safety, both at work and in the community. Organizations, communities, workers, and regulatory agencies are struggling to better manage shift duration. The scientific evidence that is essential to designing effective solutions has grown substantially in recent years, providing a basis for making informed decisions about shift duration, while preserving the integrity and viability of workplace operations.

When establishing the duration of the work shift, the guiding principles recommend an approach that includes three strategies: assessing risk factors, considering countermeasures, and establishing an informed approach.

Assess risk factors

The duration of work shifts is related to performance, safety and security , especially when shifts are not aligned with the worker’s biological clock. Work shift time, workload factors, travel time, other demands on people’s time, and individual biological factors all contribute to the impact of shift durations.

“An overall assessment of the Associated with work shifts in a given environment is key to making informed decisions about the optimal duration of changes in that environment, ”said lead author Hans Van Dongen, director of the Dream and Performance Research Center. Washington State University in Spokane.

Think about countermeasures

Countermeasure tools and strategies can be deployed in the workplace to reduce or manage the risks associated with extended work shifts. Some aim to increase sleep through nap opportunities or improve alertness with strategic caffeine consumption, for example. Other countermeasures target the results of operational risk; Examples include quality control controls, warning systems, and team-based work strategies.

The choice of countermeasures must be based on the assessment of the risks to be managed. After implementation, the positive and negative effects should be monitored to identify unwanted consequences and assess opportunities for improvement.

Establish an informed approach

Determining the appropriate travel times often involves finding an optimal compromise between competitive goals. To ensure that everyone understands the trade-offs, the decision-making process on the duration of the change should be fully informed, transparent and based on scientific evidence. Representatives of all stakeholders should be included and people whose lives and livelihoods should be directly affected by changes in the duration of the change should be encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. .

Any changes to shift work policies should be monitored and evaluated, with corrective action in the event of unintended consequences.

The document that provides recommendations and support “Guiding Principles for Determining Shift Duration and Addressing the Effects of Shift Duration on Performance, Safety, and Health” will be published jointly on July 15, 2021 in peer-reviewed scientific publications. Journal of Sleep Clinical Medicine i TO SLEEP.


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More information:
Indira Gurubhagavatula et al, Guiding Principles for Determining Shift Duration and Addressing the Effects of Shift Duration on Performance, Safety, and Health: A Guide to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Society Dream Research, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.5664 / jcsm.9512

Citation: Researchers Publish Guiding Principles for Shift Duration (2021, July 15) Retrieved July 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-publish-principles-shift-duration .html

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