A robust risk management policy is crucial for any firm. However, effective risk management is particularly important if you lead a team of night workers. Night workers are exposed to unique security risks and may be at heightened chances of developing health conditions associated with shift work.

Developing a robust risk management policy shows that you authentically care about your staff, too. This is crucial if you want to build a reputation as a people-first that promotes the health and well-being of employees.

Risk management policies for night workers can also save you money. Failing to account for the unique risks facing shift workers can land you in legal trouble and lead to costly litigation.

Commuting at Night

Drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious collision when commuting at night. Studies show that 49% of all fatalities occur at night, even though traffic is significantly reduced after the evening rush hour ends. The increased risk of collisions at night is likely due to a combination of: 

  • Reduced visibility.
  • Fatigue.
  • Impaired driving.
  • Unmanned work areas.

Some staff may be more likely to get in a crash while commuting due to unmanned work areas. These can cause unexpected obstacles that would usually be seen by drivers during the day.

Minimize the risk of an accident by investing in extra driver training for your night workers. This is sure to improve your employee’s safety on the road and ensures they have the skills to navigate the unique challenges that commuting at night poses.

If possible, allow employees to work from home when you know road conditions will be hazardous. No project is more important than your employee’s well-being and you should never ask staff to drive in when you know the roads are covered in black ice or a storm is blowing in. Instead, facilitate remote working where possible to minimize stress and keep your employees safe.

Stress

Many employees who work night shifts pursue meaningful but stressful careers. This is particularly true for folks who work in caregiving or emergency services. Address employee stress directly by giving folks the tools they need to protect their mental health and relieve chronic stress.

You can help night workers become more resilient by investing in proactive measures to promote mental well-being. Stress-busting behaviors like meditation and mindfulness can help folks become more grateful for the good things in their life and ensure that folks can maintain a healthy work-life balance.

If you actively manage night workers, be sure to reach out more often than you would with typical employees. Some folks find night supports their lifestyle while others may struggle to adapt to working past the midnight hour. Ensure these employees feel supported by hosting regular one-on-ones and use your time together to brainstorm wellness activities that support their health.

Sleep

Sleep is key to rest and recovery. However, many night workers struggle to get a good night’s sleep due to environmental factors like noise, light, and familial responsibilities. As an employer, it’s your job to develop a supportive sleep policy to help folks get the shut-eye they need.

Start by surveying staff to learn more about the issues they face. If, for example, many of your employees struggle with stress dreams like falling or work nightmares, consider buying supportive sleep goodies to help them drift off. This may include subscription packages to sleep apps or a new set of pillows for folks who just can’t get comfortable.

Consider offering access to a therapist if your night workers continue to report poor sleep due to heightened stress. Trained therapists can give employees the tools they need to overcome stress-related issues and may be able to help employees rest and recover more effectively when they clock out.

Safety Standards

It’s easy to let safety standards slide when most employees go home and only a few of your night crew are left behind. However, if you want to reduce the risk of accidents and support your staff, you need to create robust safety standards that apply directly to the risks your night workers may face.

Start by ensuring you are OSHA-compliant for night shift work. This means you must give folks the breaks they’re entitled to and should ensure that you do not inadvertently expose your night crew to hazards.

Take further steps to upgrade your security by adopting integrated security systems. Integrated security systems can help you maintain your video surveillance more effectively and will add an extra layer of security to physical barriers like gates and alarms. These integrated security systems will alert staff of a breach quickly and mitigate the risk of a physical or cyber breach.

Conclusion

Developing a risk management policy for your night workers is key if you want to run a safe, productive business. By taking a direct approach to risks like stress and poor sleep, you show staff you care about their wellness and will innately improve profitability at your firm. Follow up with upgrades to your current security systems and offer remote work when road conditions make commuting unsafe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie Brenneman

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Brenneman, you can follow her on Twitter.

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