signol
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

24 Hour Shift Patterns

Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:00 am

I currently work a 24 hour shift pattern. Between us, there are 8 peole working in pairs. We work 4 days on, 4 off, 4 nights, then 4 off, 8pm - 8am and vice versa.

We have been given the opportunity to change the rota, provided it is voted by a 75% majority. Therefore, what shift pattern do you work if on a 24h rota? Do you like it? What drawbacks are there?

As it is, the downsides of our rota are that I miss out on 4 consecutive weekends with my family, then get 4 at home with them. It is difficult to plan evening activities, eg. "every Wednesday" or even "every other Wednesday".

Thanks for any input.

signol
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LAXintl
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:56 pm

I worked a similar thing a few years back.

What we opted to do as a group was actually extend the rotations to 7 days, which gave us 7 days on, 7 off.

It was great an afforded a full week off at a time. Lot of opportunity for travel etc. I did that for about 3-years and worked terrific. Extremely easy to plan ahead.

p.s.- one super benefit was taking vacations. With 7 vacation days, you'd end of with a block of 21 free days!
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
mmedford
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:02 pm

Well... we work a rotating shift as well.

And one way we fixed our schedule is by removing the "known pairs"... eg; Tom doesn't always work with Dave. So it's constantly rotating. The schedule has double coverage; 7 days a week..21 hours...except every other monday & tuesday...there is single coverage day shift; but you still have 2 guys on the evening shift.

Every 14 weeks you get 6 straight days off, Within the 14 weeks...if you burn 20 hours a leave you get an extra 8 days off (a 4 day weekend & 2 day weekend...joined together). You can take it a step forward and burn 70 hours...and take 19 days off straight (joining the 8 day and 6 day weekends).

It's a nice schedule...not very predictable but you do have some weekend time. Maybe full weekends, split weekends and there are the times when you have to work the weekends.
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signol
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):

That would be good but we've been told that 6 night shifts is the most we can do at once. Still it's open to discussion.

Quoting mmedford (Reply 2):

It does sound interesting... so for one person, what does the shift pattern look like? A 14 week rotation, 12 hour shifts - how many days on/off do you do at at stage? Eg. start monday week 1. how many days / nights / off etc do you have? Then, person 2 - at what point does his start - 1 day after person 1, etc? Thanks for explaining it a bit more! If you can find a link to a website that shows it clearly that would be great!

Thanks again

signol
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airtrainer
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:50 am

I'm currently working with this pattern :
5 people / 8 hours a day

5x morning (6am-2pm)
2 days off
5x afternoon (2pm-10pm)
2 days off
5x night (10pm-6am)
6 days off
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shamrock604
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:53 pm

The only problem with extending the number of days you work is the fatigue issue.

7 12 hour night shifts in a row is too much for anyone - long term, you will do yourself harm, even if it is great for time off.

The smimple 4 on, 4 off, 12 hours (4 days, 4 off, 4 nights, 4 off) works best in the end. It doesnt take too much out of your body, it is easily predictable etc.

Variations on it are 2 days, 2 nights, 4 off, but that is crap as it means you always finish on a night and always go back on an early, so your first day off, isnt really a day off as you work through that night into the morning.

Another pattern tried is a twist on the 4 on 4 off, which involves 5 on, 5 off, and then a 3 on, 3 off, which if worked correctly, guarantees a certain amount of saturday/sunday periods during each month. But, it can be a bit unpredicatable in terms of forward visibility.

My advice - dont change what works well!   Shift work is very hard on the body (as you will learn after a few years doing it - for one, it is a major cause of depression) so you do have to take that into account, as well as the time off benefits etc.

Working 84 hours straight, on nights, is too much for anybody to do regularly!
 
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LAXintl
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:21 pm

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 5):
Working 84 hours straight, on nights, is too much for anybody to do regularly!
Quoting airtrainer (Reply 4):
7 12 hour night shifts in a row is too much for anyone - long term, you will do yourself harm, even if it is great for time off.

Not at all for our group. We actually enjoyed the 7-7 patterns much more than 4-4 which was much more disruptive due to the constant changing and unpredictability of the off pattern and its effects on home life. 7-7 really indeed worked extremely well and is still being used now some 10 or so years later by those in the positions today still.

Anyhow, personally I slept much better working nights than I do when on day shifts. No need for alarms, etc. Once wakes up naturally when the body is ready, so you could have left me on nights and no problem.
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Acey
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:30 pm

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 5):
Variations on it are 2 days, 2 nights, 4 off, but that is crap as it means you always finish on a night and always go back on an early, so your first day off, isnt really a day off as you work through that night into the morning.

That's what I'm working right now, and I like it. Yes your first day off is really only a half day because you're sleeping till noon or later, but you get the half back after the first 2 days. I'd MUCH prefer this to 4 days on, 4 days off then nights.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:08 am

Quoting Acey (Reply 7):
That's what I'm working right now, and I like it. Yes your first day off is really only a half day because you're sleeping till noon or later, but you get the half back after the first 2 days. I'd MUCH prefer this to 4 days on, 4 days off then nights.

I've done both and I found 2 days 2 nights absolutely awful. Your days off felt far shorter and were of no real use to you in terms of doing anything like travelling.
 
Acey
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:36 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 8):
I've done both and I found 2 days 2 nights absolutely awful. Your days off felt far shorter and were of no real use to you in terms of doing anything like travelling.

To each his own, I suppose. As a 20 year old, I like to go out in the evenings.... only having to get up early for 2 consecutive days is greatly beneficial to me.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:00 am

Yeah, in that case, I can see your point!  
 
andz
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:32 am

When I worked shifts it was as follows:

Night shift starts Sunday night. Midnight to 8am for 7 nights
Afternoon shift starts Monday 4pm to midnight for 7 nights
Day shift starts Wednesday 8am to 4pm 7 days
Wednesday you were spare shift, 8am to noon, then off until starting the cycle again at midnight on Sunday
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KaiGywer
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:40 pm

We work 12 hr shifts at my job and it goes like this in a 2 week rotation:

Mon-Tue 0700-1900 or 1900-0700
Wed-Thu Off
Fri-Sun 0700-1900 or 1900-0700
Mon-Tue Off
Wed-Thu 0700-1900 or 1900-0700
Fri-Sun Off

We switch nights/days every four weeks over our three day off weekend. What I like is that every other weekend is a three day weekend, and by burning 24 hrs of leave, you get a full week off. This on top of our very generous vacation policies means that we don't work all that much  
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RJLover
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RE: 24 Hour Shift Patterns

Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:54 am

At my job I work nights (1818-0542), 4 on 4 off. I've only been doing this round for about a month... I'm still getting used to it!
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