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Night shift workers commentary on shift stress and shift ease.
This file contains commentary from night shift workers on shift work,
shift stress and informal testing of shift ease. The information below
comes from interviews with night shift workers and their supervisors and
is their opinion on shift work, shift stress and shift ease.
1. Test of shift ease at Molded Wood Plant
Three eight hour shifts starting at 2300 hours on Sunday night and
finishing on 2300 hours on Friday night. Thirty staff work rotating shifts.
Day shift starts at 0700 and runs to 1500 hours and then the afternoon shift
starts at 1500 hours and runs to 2300 when the night shift starts and runs to
0700 the next morning.
The rotation pattern is days, nights and afternoons on a weekly turnaround.
The nature of the work is 50% physically demanding and the other 50% has a more
mental component. Both exude a high toll on our workers especially at 0300 hours
on a hot summer's night, which is made worse with the ovens running at over 200
Problems with shift work
Any problem with any staff member does not stay isolated with that worker as
the nature of night shifts and lack of diversions, problems flow through the
work force easily and almost everyone gets affected.
Some specific problems encountered with shifts are: tiredness, insomnia,
bitchiness, irritability, forgetfulness right through to family break ups.
Tiredness leads to small jobs being missed or ignored, such as basic housekeeping,
basic quality checks, clocking in and out. These small things when all compounded
together become large problems very quickly.
These were investigated and found to be true sick days with workers ill, and not
workers taking days off for other reasons. The illness of a large proportion of
those who were off sick could be attributed to doing shift work. The sickness
problems were: large number of colds and flu's, which were brought on by staff being
run down with low vitality and unable to fight off infections, stomach problems by workers
not eating properly and accidents caused by inattention which in turn was caused
by fatigue and lack of quality sleep.
The trial using Shift Ease
The trial started with a small group comprising of the supervisor who was having
problems sleeping. One of the stack crew who had become easily upset and prone to
seeing problems that were not really there, which required lots of calming talk.
And an operator whose work quality was slipping.
By the end of day two of the trial the three users of Shift Ease saw positive
results. By the end of the first week the results were so encouraging the dam
broke the planned orderly trial, had gone by the board and all the shift workers
had a packet of Shift Ease in their pocket.
By the end of the second week the shift workers had discovered that by using
Shift Ease during the night shift they gained the most advantage from Shift Ease.
The positive benefits soon flowed. The work quality from the operators improved,
the stackers problems disappeared and the night shift supervisor finally started
to form a sleep pattern of quality and refreshing sleep.
Other staff members were showing obvious signs of improvement. They were starting
to wonder about the ingredients of the Shift Ease. The staff were referring to
them as "uppers". "I don't know how they arrived at that comparison, but there
definitely was a change of atmosphere around the factory."
Another effect was a "speeding up" of the natural body functions. Reducing
constipation that most felt was caused by shift work.
Although most got a positive result from using Shift Ease some did not and others
felt that over use diminished its effectiveness. When shift workers only used
Shift Ease on the night shifts the remedies effectiveness returned to normal.
As for the comment that Shift Ease has a n effect on a person sex life, this
was not a formal question asked but if the rumour machine at the plant is be
believed there are a few happy people in the factory. The supervisor is in this
happy group and can vouch for Shift Ease helping his sex life.
Overall the Shift Ease trial was a success, its use along with other techniques
to ease the strain of shift work has led to a happier, safer work environment.
We are considering making Shift Ease available to workers in the same way
we issue general safety gear.
2. Two Night Shift Workers at Synthetic Fuels Plant.
Age = 33 and 40 years old.
One working shifts for six years and the other for fifteen years.
Shift Cycle. Two days 7:00am - 7:00pm, then two nights of 7:00pm - 7:00am,
then four days off.
Both find shift work is fatiguing, feels like being run over by a bus. To remain "normal"
both need to exercise heavily when not working. These activities include cycling,
running, aerobics, pushing weights and golf. Therefore very little time for
most other activities, like family and other close relationships.
Used Shift Ease in the following doses:
1st tablet at 2300
2nd tablet at 0200 hours - (usually feels lousy at this time)
3rd tablet at 0500 hours - (usually feels real lousy at this time)
0730 - bedtime after night shift
4th tablet on awakening - usually between 1300-1400 hours
This 4th tablet prevented the usual horrible dry mouth after awakening from a
Comparison between using and not using Shift Ease on night shifts.
Not using Shift Ease
Have main meal before midnight and a small snack "smoko" after midnight with
minimal fluid intake after midnight otherwise woken up while sleeping with an
urge to urinate. Although during night shifts we do have a "milo" at 0300
and again 0530 but no other fluid intake until waking in the early afternoon.
When we awake we always have a dry horrible mouth and have to consume copious
amounts of fluid to rehydrate the body. Usually irritable and annoyed with
life after awakening.
Using Shift Ease
During the night between 0200-0500 and after awakening the mouth does not
feel as dry and horrible. This is with no change to food or fluid intake.
Used to fee very thirsty in the afternoon between night shifts and no longer
do after using Shift Ease. Feel more able to cope with night shifts.
Better temperament and mood both on the actual night shifts and afterwards.
Helped our relationships. Wife of one partner was totally surprised by her
partner's positive mood and extra energy.
Don't feel so wacked in the afternoon after the night shift and now able to
get up before noon which suggests we are getting a better quality sleep.
Comments form the manufacturer of Shift Ease:
Although there have been comments about "uppers", increased energy and
improved sex life, Shift Ease is not like a stimulant or a sex
stimulant (aphrodisiac). While these are genuine comments from shift workers
it does not mean that Shift Ease will increase energy, lift mood or improve
your sex life. What has occurred is that the shift workers were fatigued
and after getting quality sleep and becoming less exhausted and fatigued,
they of course felt better and had more energy for everything including sex.