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Megacycle shift leads to more injuries and illnesses

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Most people love to order packages from Amazon. It’s books, food, jewelry, or anything imaginable, and then the package arrives in our mailbox. Yet, there is now a report where Chicago warehouse workers were given the ultimatum of signing up for 10.5-hour graveyard shifts from 1:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. (known by the workers as the megacycle) or find somewhere else to work. If they didn’t staff the shift, the company said it would shut the facility down. The company also pushed for shorter daytime shifts that would force workers to take the longer night shifts. The change is to increase efficiency and speed up package delivery times guaranteed by Amazon Prime.

Raising injury risks

Amazon isn’t the only company asking employees to work through the night or put in longer shifts. Unfortunately, the data is clear that longer shifts cause more significant fatigue and reduced job performance. Moreover, lack of sleep in working night shifts can cause such health problems as:

  • Chronic diseases
  • Sleep disorders like long term insomnia or sleepiness
  • Obesity
  • Injuries due to cognitive declines

Employers see an uptick in injuries

The data goes back years, but this new push for greater efficiency has already come at a cost. There are now reports that employees working megacycle shifts are averaging twice as many injuries after the warehouses change from normal eight-hour shifts to the megacycle shifts. This certainly adds worker’s more compensation payments to the price of doing business, and workers should certainly seek these benefits to help cover their living expenses. While the companies see an increase in claims, it’s the workers paying the price for doing businesses faster and more efficiently by compromising their health and safety.