Split shifts – who’s responsible for fatigue?
It was recently reported in Australia that airport ground handling staff were concerned about their fatigue levels and the implication it could have on airport safety. Staff are reportedly sleeping in sub-optimal conditions at the airport between working split shifts.The organisation under the spotlight roster 4-hour shifts, which include early morning starts and late finishes. Due to the nature of the employees’ permanent part-time contract, they are not guaranteed a predictable roster pattern. In a city like Sydney where the cost of living is extremely high, employees are staying at the airport for up to 5 hours before commencing their next shift, in order to minimise time and financial loss.
This situation raises the question – who is responsible for Fatigue Management in this safety-critical role?