Extended-hours ops: Are workers getting proper rest?
Members from both sides of the bench call it â€œmadness,â€ to debate important legislative issues while bleary-eyed and grumpy. However, with a few more sitting weeks and a long backlog of issues, more late nights are likely.
This story corresponds to an all-too-familiar issue in extended-hours operations: working during the low point in a daily physiological cycle of fluctuating alertness levels, when errors are substantially more likely. Itâ€™s no coincidence that the fatal accidents in Bhopal, Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island all occurred between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Moreover, research from Circadian Technologies shows that certain levels of sleep deprivation have the same effect on alertness as alcohol intoxication.
Extended-hours managers have an obligation to examine whether current shift scheduling practices are setting them up to incur excess costs, risks and liabilities, especially in safety-critical environments, reports Circadian.