Jul 18, 2008

Indiana ethanol plant opertaing 24/7, recognizes challenges of shiftwork

In Bluffton, Indiana (USA) the IBE ethanol plant has opened.  This 24/7 facility currently has a staff of 50 people, somewhat more than planned, in order to account for anticipated attrition as new employees drop off in the face of the challenges of shiftwork.  The local paper quoted a manager as saying:

"The 50 staff is actually slightly more than IBE originally planned on, but Seward explained that it is not unusual for people not used to shift work to find that they just cannot meet the requirements of 'odd hours.'  We hope we don't lose anybody," Seward noted. "But we won't be surprised. Generally it's the working nights that is the deal breaker.  It takes a real commitment, not only on the part of the person, but their family to support that. If someone is working nights, they have to be able to sleep during the day. Sleep is critical when someone works at nights."

It does indeed take a real commitment.  The National Shiftwork Information Center salutes those who make that commitment.  We also hope that the above quote doesn't reflect a management position that the commitment needs only to be made by the shiftworkers.  The most effective 24/7 operations are those where management, shiftworkers and their family members are committed to making the workplace healthy, safe, and productive.

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