It will come as no surprise to shiftworkers to say that we live in a 24-hour, always “on” world. Production starts early and the last crew leaves late, and it’s not uncommon for facilities to be in operation twenty-four hours per day, 365 days per year.
Whether your facility produces chemicals that need to be monitored and mixed on a precise schedule or you work in a specialized field that requires expensive equipment to run at all hours to be profitable or your products are in such high demand that they require around-the-clock production, there are specific reasons why your facility relies on shiftworkers to operate efficiently and profitably.
Sending employees offsite for OSHA-mandated medical testing is an expensive proposition for a number of reasons.
You have likely invested a lot of time, energy and money in developing an optimum workflow so that your facility runs like a well-oiled machine staffed with well-trained employees operating your, well, well-oiled machines. A small disruption at the beginning of the line can result in complications throughout the entire process.
And when it comes time to administer OSHA-required medical tests, the combined disruption of switching shiftworkers to dayshift so they can be sent offsite to be tested can result in a compounded loss due to:
- The cost of the test itself at an offsite medical facility
- The time-loss due to the employee being offsite for travel and testing
- The loss of productivity that comes with switching overnight personnel to dayshift for testing
- The potential loss of productivity and increased risk of injury due to altering the employees’ sleep schedules unnecessarily
OMY Mobile Medical Testing understands that you have structured your shifts the way you have for a reason, and in order to perform at optimum levels and maintain rigorous production schedules there simply isn’t room on the clock – or in the budget – for additional costs and downtime. But at the same time, employee safety is always a priority and OSHA testing is mandatory.
Mobile medical testing allows business owners and plant managers to maximize workplace safety while minimizing the potential negative impact to overall productivity by testing your employees where and when they work – day or night. Employee schedules and production deadlines aren’t arbitrary, and it is critical that they are disrupted as little as possible. Mobile medical testing eliminates the need for employees to leave the premises while minimizing overall time offline.
Abrupt schedule changes can cause disruptions and safety concerns, so we meet shiftworkers where and when they are scheduled.
Rapidly switching employees from nightshift to dayshift to accommodate OSHA-required testing can negatively impact productivity.
First, pulling someone off of nightshift means that nightshift will be down a person or they might have to be swapped with someone from dayshift who might not be accustomed to working nights. In this case, two employees are now displaced.
Second, it’s extremely unlikely that a single employee would need to be tested. It is far more likely that an entire division or crew would need to be swapped out, which could potentially cause massive disruptions and workflow problems.
OMY simplifies the scheduling process for OSHA testing. Even employees on rolling schedules require some consistency to their routines to perform their best.
Polar day-to-night and night-to-day switches can also create dangerous situations because it takes time for employees to reestablish their sleep rhythms. The effect of one sleep disrupted employee can be devastating when operating heavy machinery, but, again, in a large facility, the problems are multiplied across entire divisions.
Additionally, as we have discussed previously in this blog, employee health can negatively impact test accuracy. An exhausted employee is more likely to trigger a shift, which will require a re-test and could potentially end up being recorded on the OSHA 300 Log.
OMY administers OSHA-mandated medical tests to shiftworkers when other medical practices and clinics won’t. You work through the night, so we do, too.
Even if a company manages to solve the testing/scheduling puzzle, where are shiftworkers supposed to go to be tested?
Private practitioners and hearing specialists aren’t likely to be seeing patients outside of their standard hours, and if you send your employees to a clinic – if they are open and if they are able to perform the required tests – they will likely make your employees wait in the waiting room and then wait again in the examination room – all while they are still on your clock.
OMY solves this problem for you by testing your employees where and when they are already scheduled to work.
Our vehicles are clean and the equipment is calibrated to the same standards as a brick-and-mortar testing location, but we have the added benefit of 24-hour availability.
Because we are both mobile and we can test multiple employees simultaneously, we have eliminated the need for travel time and drastically reduced the overall wait time – day or night.
With large facilities, it is almost inevitable that at least one employee will be absent on testing day. As a result, some managers worry that they will still be required to send a few employees offsite for testing.
However, if you have scheduled separate sessions for dayshift and nightshift employees, one session can act as the “pick-up” session for the other.
Sometimes, if the number of employees who were unable to be tested on their scheduled day due to absence, illness or another reason is large enough, it can be in the company’s interest to schedule a “pick-up” day when OMY comes back to your facility to test those who missed their initial tests.
However, if a dayshift employee misses his or her testing session, it might be possible to add them to the nightshift’s session, which removes the need for additional “pick-up” sessions.
As we mentioned before, abrupt schedule swaps aren’t ideal, but as a method of handling individual cases, it can be more efficient than scheduling an additional day of testing.
Contact us today to discuss your facility’s medical testing needs.
We will need to know the number of employees that need to be tested, the specific tests they need and the shifts that work best for you.
We’re on the road for you!