News from Finland in English

The Koskenkorva booze factory runs 12 hour working shifts instead of 8h ones

Altia's Koskenkorva factory in South Pohjanmaa uses abnormally long twelve hour shifts. The facility produces grain alcohol, starch, livestock feed and carbon dioxide. A trial started the longer working days in 2014, due to problems with excessive over time work. It is now standard practise.

The highly automated factory employs some 50 people direcly. In addition it provides work for some 30 outsourced workers. A single production shift runs on three members of staff: One is on the control panel controlling the process and making required. Another is on the factory floor collecting samples and supervising dry materials. The third is controlling ethanol production.

After the year long trial ended in 2014 no employees wanted to return to regular eight hour shifts. The factory made a local agreement that can be terminated by the employer or the employees single sidedly. So far both parties have been happy with the agreements.

Longer working hours for longer breaks between days

In the current arrangement 15 process controllers and two extras follow a schedule where working days are 12 hour long. The switchover point between for the shifts is always at six o'clock. Morning shifts at the Koskenkorva factory start at 6 AM and end at 6 PM.

The 12h work routine

  1. 12 hour day shift
  2. 12 hour day shift
  3. 24 hour break
  4. 12 hour night shift
  5. 12 hour night shift
  6. Sleeping day
  7. Day off
  8. Day off
  9. Day off
  10. Day off
  11. Day off

After two shifts there is a 24 hour break for sleeping. This is followed by two night shifts spanning from 6 PM to 6 AM. After this there is 1 day for sleeping and 6 days off for a total of 6 consecutive days of leisure.

Altia has benefited from the change, which has allowed more effective use of the work force. It seems like a win win, as employees are tempted by the long breaks offered by the scheduling.

Experts belive that two 12 hour night shifts are easier for the body to recover from, than four 8 hour shifts. According Timo Mantere a six day break every ten days feels like holiday each time.

Longer consecutive breaks make child care easier and also gives more opportunities to focus hobbies. Mantere, for example, has picked up his competitive skiing after being able to train more consistently.

Other companies in Finland are also interested in adopting 12 hour shifts. However 12 hour shifts are not suitable for all kinds of work. During longer shifts the risk of accidents grows in physical work and productivity in cognitive tasks lowers.

Source: Koskenkorvan viinatehtaalla työvuoro kestää kellon ympäri

Written by Janita on Monday April 30, 2018
Permalink -

« Coal use up by a fifth in Finland in March - Helsinki burned a third of it - Prices of new apartments drop by 6,7 percent in the greater Helsinki region »