Occupational safety management in a 12-hour shift system: Links between alertness, safety behaviour and occupational exposure during long shifts (PiTKäT)

The project examines safety behaviour, its links to alertness and previous sleep, and the risk of fatigue in commuting in connection with 12-hour shifts.




  • Intensified working time solutions have become more common, especially in industry. One example is the 12-hour shift system, the benefits of which include the reduction of shift changes, the elimination of so-called double shifts and a long uniform leave after a shift period. Despite the positive experiences of employees, the impact of long shifts on fatigue at work, possible errors and the deterioration of occupational safety requires further research. 
  • Research on the effects of sleep and alertness on safety behaviour or the effects of long shifts on the exposure profile has so far been limited. In particular, the simultaneous measurement of these various factors is new. Examining safety behaviour through the use of protective equipment, incidents and occupational accidents, as well as the risk of fatigue in commuting, offers a comprehensive view of occupational safety in long shifts. 
  • The project studies are carried out in co-operation with two large industrial companies using 12-hour and 10-hour shift systems. 

The project examines: 

  • safety behaviour and its links to alertness and previous sleep; 
  • the risk of fatigue during commutes in connection with 12-hour shifts. 

In the development part, we make recommendations based on the results of the project: 

  • to support safety behaviour during long shifts; and 
  • to manage the risk of fatigue during commutes in connection with long shifts. 


In addition, on the basis of the literature, we produce recommendations for the application of occupational hygiene limit values in 10 and 12-hour shifts.


The Finnish Work Environment Fund, Industrial union, Technology Industries of Finland and Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

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Tomi Kanerva

Tomi Kanerva

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