Shift patterns and fatigue

bcp7

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Good morning, all. One of my co-workers is doing a Term Paper towards his Master's Degree in Safety and Systems Management.

I am familiar with a few different patterns: 4 on 4 off no rotation (maybe quarterly or semi-annually), two AM shifts followed by two PM Shifts and off two days or similar and what Hawaiian Airlines used to have 4 on 2 off, 4 on 2 off, 4 on 4 off, and you would do the swing shift then AMs then nights to maximize time off.

Obviously a consistent shift schedule would be the best in order to establish consistent sleep patterns and minimize fatigue while on shift.

I thought I would solicit other shift patterns from the group, and how that affects you. Thanks in advance, Brian
 

SKC

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SWA runs a 6-3-6-3-6-6 rotation. Top 80% of the group hold a year long line (i.e. all days, all afternoons, all mids, or vacation relief which can vary.

Bottom 20% are on reserve which means neither your days on/off nor your start time are consistent.

Obviously, the "reserve" life is harder on you as you don't typically get in that same rhythm that line holders do. It took me 5 years to get off reserve.
 

crjdxr

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National Airlines dispatchers work 5/3, 9-hr days. Days off move (e.g. one week may be F/S/Su off, the next week may be S/Su/M off) as the month progresses. Shifts are "fixed" - if you're on overnights, you stay on overnights. Not forever, mind you, unless you want that.
 

Squirrel29

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Hawaiian rotation is 4 days graves 2 off 4 days swings 2 off 4 days am 4 off. But alot of the dispatchers have standing swaps with other dispatcher so they work either morning, swing shift or graves. I can speak from experience working a 5 day shift with that rotation sucks. Started off with 2 days at 6am 1 at 1400 and 2 at 2200. My body would never adjust and you always felt fatigued. Only did it one year and told the manager to take me off of it.

The argument I hear on keeping the rotation is so dispatcher are familiar with every shift. They want to make sure everyone is qualified to work the different shifts.
 

T/SF34/A

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is up!
The shifts mentioned above make me glad I work straight up Mids Monday - Thursday.
It's not too difficult to establish a week day sleep pattern since the shift times do not
change. Tuesday mornings around 5am fatigue sets in a bit if I don't nap on Monday afternoon. No problem the rest of the week since I sleep from 0730 - 1530.
 

bcp7

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I did that Hawaiian Airlines schedule for several years at Continental Micronesia. The last two years I was there I traded my AM shifts for another guy's graveyards, so I only worked swings and graveyards unless I was on overtime. That made for a much nicer sleep schedule, I would pretty much always try to be sleeping between 0600 and 1400.

I think a quarterly bid could be seriously abused by senior personnel. They could cherry pick to be off as many weekends as possible on every bid.

Thanks for your input, guys.
 

SKC

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That's why I like our sched at SWA. even the 35 year vet works some weekends. Likewise, I get some weekends off every month, in addition to 6 consecutive days off monthly without having to use any vacation.
 
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