Wednesday, February 17, 2010

14 hour days.... What about families ?


I usually write fluffy posts about things i love, people i love or food i love. Today's post is about something that i am probably as passionate about.... Working conditions.

My husband works in the mining industry , yes it is very lucrative and it allows us many luxuries, but he also works long days. 12 hour shifts might not sound to bad on the surface, but factor in a hour each day travel time , and the fact that when he gets to work he is operating large scale heavy machinery.

We live in a smaller mining town in the hope to get ahead, we understand that there is risk associated with the work that he completes and i am thankful every time , he walk back in that door.

Today's Daily Mercury front page is blazed with the headline 14-hour days for mining workers

ONE of the big miners has introduced a new fatigue management plan, that allows employee's to work 14 hour days (16 hrs in an emergency) and up to 14 days straight.

Is this safe ?
These men and women, will finish these shifts and then drive home , it could be 15 minutes or 4 hours home. We advise our normal drivers " that tired drivers die" , that we need breaks while driving"
Is it family friendly ?
14 hour days ..... so , based on roster now, these men could start work at 5am , well before the family wakes, and will not be home till 7pm. The kids will be feed and ready for bed.

As a wife, mumma and mumma to be, i would hate for my husband to do 14 hour shift. I would hate him to work 14 hour days, with 14 days straight work.

I understand that big mining companies want and need to improve productivity, but instead of increasing days at work , and more than likely increasing Loss Time Injuries or even deaths, lets improve moral for the employees.

1 comment:

The Joneses said...

12hr days are awful, let alone 14. So much for the "work/life balance".

As long as there is a so-called management plan, these industries will always push the absolute limit in the pursuit of profit. In my opinion, it shouldn't be allowed!