SAFETY CHALLENGES WHEN MANAGING SHIFT WORK IN THE SWEDISH FOREST INDUSTRY: SOLUTIONS BASED ON MORE THAN 700 YEARS OF WORK EXPERIENCE
Free (open access)
167 - 176
PIA ULVENBLAD, HENRIK BARTH
The purpose of this study is to explore the safety challenges managing shift work in the Swedish forest industry. There are several factors that can affect safety in working life. In general, previous research shows that managerial and leadership behaviours affect safety and well-being regardless of the type of industry. A leadership with a focus on safety affects the safety climate and the outcome in the form of accidents in an organisation. The interaction between managers and employees regarding safety issues also has a positive effect on safety. Leaders who are instead passive regarding safety issues have significant negative effects on safety, contribute to an increased number of accidents and reduce safetyrelated behaviour in the organisation. This means that employees with passive leaders themselves become less interested in engaging in safety activities. Shift work has also been shown to affect the health and safety of employees. For example, studies show that higher sickness absence is associated with three-shift rotation compared to two-shift rotation and that fatigue and insomnia may be an effect of shift work. Further, research also shows a link between fatigue and a higher frequency of accidents. In this paper, we use a co-creation approach to capture the safety challenges related to shift work. The overall methodological approach in this study is action-oriented research. The empirical data is collected with interviews and focus groups which altogether include 56 respondents with more than 700 years of joint work experiences from shift work in the forest industry. Preliminary results show the importance of creating a safety culture where both the management and the employees take active part and responsibility in solutions. The managers have the formal responsibility, including law and regulation related to safety aspects. The employees in turn have the responsibility for their own choices and behaviours not least related to food, sleep, and training.
safety challenges, shift work, forest industry