Mining Workers Working In Shifts

Shift Working and Associated Fatigue: The characteristics of the task and work schedule are relevant to safety so far as these relate to figure efficiency. Monotonous, boring tasks are hardly conductive to sustaining of attention. An excessive amount of load stress (too many things to do) or speed stress (too high a piece pace) are undesirable, particularly when combined with environmental stressors like noise, heat, etc. It’s been accepted that a good proportion of human error is fatigue-related and this state of impairment may be a natural consequence of human biology. Mining industry involves 24-hour operations which causes a part of its workforce to do to override the essential dual orientation dictated by their circadian clocks which effectively programmes people sleep-wake cycle and coordinates the daily rhythms of physiological and behavioural functions of the physical body. Certain amount of sleep is crucial for maintaining alertness and performance. Reduced sleep is common during shift work, particularly during work on night, thanks to disruption of circadian rhythms. The physiological condition of human alertness is that the key to human performance, and safe and efficient operations in industrial settings depend on people being at their best, no matter the time of day or night. So as to realize and maintain an optimum level of human alertness, Sirois (2003) has introduced the concept of physiology-based safety. He defines physiology-based safety as: “an objective, systematic, and co-operative process between management and employees to scale back worker fatigue. Physiology-based safety relies on the premise that employers have a basic responsibility and a business incentive, to ascertain working conditions that support human performance instead of distract from it. Similarly, employees have a responsibility, and a private health and safety incentive, to report for work alert and fit”. This co-operative process has the potential to convert the prices related to fatigue-related incidents and accidents into operating profit, in addition to achieve a better level of safety and efficiency. It also has the potential to contribute significantly to occupational health and safety within the workplace.

Properly designed work schedules are of critical importance and wish participatory planning and implementation. Designing shift system is complex. However, there are certain key ergonomics-related aspects to be considered when designing shift cycles including speed and direction of shift rotation, duration of shifts, timing of shifts and intervals between shifts- all factors influencing both physiological adjustments and social lifetime of shift workers .

Prashant Kumar Singh

Assistant Professor- Department of Mining Engineering

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