Earning your living in a warehouse setting is undeniably hard on your body. You may find that you experience more job-related aches, pains and injuries than your peers in many other industries. The risks you face in your line of work become even more substantial if you are working long hours during overnight shifts, and many American warehouse workers say their employers are making them do exactly that.
According to Vice, one of the United State’s most notable warehouse employers now requires employees in some of its facilities to work what it calls “megacycle” shifts. What do megacycle shifts entail, and how do they create hazards for you and other warehouse workers?
A megacycle shift is a graveyard shift that lasts as long as 10.5 hours. In one warehouse, employees received word from their superiors that they had to work from 1:20 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. or risk losing their jobs. These long overnight shifts create problems when it comes to finding childcare and transportation and maintaining a high quality of life. They also increase the chances of you experiencing an on-the-job injury.
The trend toward longer overnight shifts is part of one warehouse employer’s efforts to boost efficiency and speed up deliveries for customers, but at what cost? According to one 2020 report, the warehouse employer making some of its employees work long graveyard shifts sees injury rates that are double that of other U.S. warehouses.
When you perform physical labor during long, overnight shifts, the risk of exhaustion and fatigue is high. Exhaustion and fatigue are often contributing factors to serious warehouse injuries.