6:57 am April 19, 2011, by Henry Unger
Have you worked the graveyard shift? Got any survival tips?
Despite several recent incidents of controllers suspected of sleeping on duty, they won’t be allowed to schedule naps into their work shifts to mitigate fatigue, AJC reporter Marcus Garner writes.
At the same time, new work rules have been designed to address the problem, Garner reports. One change: Controllers will get what officials called recuperative breaks, in which they will be allowed to step away from their work stations, stretch their legs, grab some coffee or get some fresh air.
Will that work?
Reports of sleeping controllers highlight an often ignored hazard: Workers on night shifts can have trouble concentrating and even staying awake, Associated Press writes.
“Government officials haven’t recognized that people routinely fall asleep at night when they’re doing shift work,” Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told AP. Czeisler said studies show that 30 percent to 50 percent of night-shift workers report falling asleep at least once a week while on the job.
What do you think should be done? Would naps even work? One problem — it might take a long time for a controller or many other workers to unwind from high-stress jobs to reach restful sleep.
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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