Impact of Shift Work

Another possible response by contractors to an accelerated schedule is the implementation of a second shift. Shift work is sometimes preferred because it can produce a higher rate of progress without the immediate fatigue problems of overtime (via a fresh crew) and the congestion problems realized with overmanning. In addition, premium payment to a second shift is typically lower than that of overtime. However, shift work introduces additional problems including: extensive worker coordination, increased absenteeism and turnover, the unavailability of higher management, a higher cost per unit hour (as a result of paying for the shift differential), a higher accident rate, and interruptions of the workers’ natural biorhythms resulting in fatigue. (Simply stated, humans are designed to work during the day and sleep at night. Working incongruously with natural preferences affects both an individual’s health and job performance.)

The problems associated with the use of shifts confront contractors with a significant increase in total costs since they act to reduce productivity per additional manhour. When shift work is implemented in response to owner mandate or schedule acceleration not due to your actions, you are entitled to compensation beyond the direct wage costs. The productivity inefficiencies that occur due to using shift work should also be compensated for by the owner. In preparing an additional request for payment or a claim, Hanna Consulting Group can help you recover your full costs using accepted methodologies that the consultants at HCG developed in coordination with major specialty contractor organizations. Let us use our expertise for you.