Shift Handover: Do You Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

The ability of teams working on plants to communicate effectively is critical to their safety. There’s always the risk of a critical element being neglected when a unit passes responsibilities to another (as happens during digital shift handover). In addition, the transfer process relies on solid communication to maintain continuity. Any flaw in this communication can put people’s lives in danger. As a result, a terrible accident might occur that could have been averted.

Shift handover is a high-risk, high-complexity operation that occurs regularly. Typically, we would aim to ‘engineer out’ or at the very least automate high-risk, regular processes to reduce the chance of mistakes. For shift handover, however, this is not an option. Poor shift hand over software procedures have resulted in catastrophic catastrophes, necessitating the need for more efficient, consistent, and thorough data at this critical moment in daily operations. Unfortunately, insufficient and time-consuming tools are still used during shift handover, increasing organizational risk and inefficiency.

Shift handover is the process of transferring knowledge from an outgoing staff member to an incoming staff member; it is typically thought to be a unidirectional process. The outgoing operator decides which information is essential to transfer so that the incoming staff can operate the facility effectively. People these days rely on shift handover apps as well for the purpose.

Shift Handover Procedure

A typical approach is enforced for shift handover to ensure continuity and minimize errors. Each company will develop its own strategy in line with its operational requirements. In fact, there is very less standardization of these handover processes between organizations. While some pursue an extremely relentless and defined strategy, others simply depend on people to intercommunicate actively.

Poor Shift Handover Leads to Accidents

In a number of recent high-profile, significant incidents, the importance of shift handover has been highlighted. However, while shift handover has been recognized as a contributing factor in a number of incidents, it appears that this is an under-reported problem. Simply said, individuals haven’t been looking for evidence of shift handover failures while investigating events and accidents since there hasn’t been much attention devoted to the problem and relatively little information released on the subject.

Shift Handover Has Its Own Set Of Risks

The handover occurs multiple times every year, depending on whether a typical shift is 8 or 12 hours long. When searching for methods to improve plant safety, the top concern is ensuring the handover process is specified and handled appropriately. Several research on shift handover has been conducted to understand better how you might improve the procedures.

Improving The Handover Of Shifts

Eschbach offers tips on how to improve shift handover. This includes:

  • Carefully describe the material to be shared.
  • Employing assistance such as log books during handover.
  • Using several communication mediums.
  • Giving enough time.
  • Building communication skills and behaviors.

Yet, despite the severity of the issue and the countless mishaps caused by poor shift handovers, it’s surprising that there isn’t more guidance accessible. The reasons behind this are unclear, but it’s simple to assume that it’s because it’s a ‘soft’ and intangible subject that has likely been categorized as ‘too hard’ for many years.

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Work Permit and Shift Handover

In most industrial settings, the authorization to work ensures that all personnel engaging in risky, non-routine operations on the plant communicate with one another.

So, how is shift change related to permits?

The first method takes longer, but it requires a new look at the task and ensures that communication is maintained. The second technique is more streamlined, but it carries the risk of something significant changing and the relevant personnel failing to investigate it at handover fully.

It’s not always clear which of the two techniques is the best inside a single organization, and the procedures vary by industry. This lack of alignment should be a cause for caution since it appears that there is room for misunderstanding.

What Makes For A Successful Shift Handover Procedure?

The following design concepts should be followed while creating a practical offline or digital shift hand over software:

  • The handover process should always be connected with the production objectives and targets for the short and medium-term, and they should be evident.
  • Regular handover and production meetings that result in tasks being allocated, tracked, and shared in a management system are catered for.
  • Each handover’s formal written communication should be documented in a simple, secure, organized logbook, preferably electronic.
  • Between shifts, information should be transmitted between an experienced, competent workforce familiar with the process and the task being done.
  • It should be simple to provide relevant, targeted shift and safety information.
  • Communication between role-players on a one-on-one basis.
  • Continuous training and process auditing are supported.
  • The handover process should always be connected with the production objectives and targets for the short and medium-term, and they should be evident.
  • All concerned parties should have easy access to relevant information, such as displays around the facility, mobile devices, etc.

Operations management entails various interconnected procedures that must work together to optimize efficiency and guarantee that work is done safely.

Shift handover is an example of a necessary procedure that relies on excellent communication to avoid safety issues. The permit-to-work system must be linked with shift handover protocols to guarantee that jobs continue to be done safely even when teams change.