man on work site

Industrial accidents should be a thing of the past, yet industrial occupations remain dangerous and complicated careers. 

Occupations in utilities, transport, manufacturing, and oil and gas involve risk, but the most startling thing is that most of this risk stems from manual processes and human error, meaning most industrial accidents are preventable.

Cost cutting, taking short cuts, failing to provide proper training, or failing to implement safety standards place workers at an even higher risk of injury. Conversely, when employees fail to utilise the protocols and safety standards provided, they put themselves, others, and the company at risk.

Accidents are avoidable. According to compiled statistics from an international labour organisation, more than 2.3 million accidental deaths occur globally each year as a result of workplace accidents and work-related diseases. Following protocols can reduce or eliminate industrial accidents, saving job completion time, company resources, and employee lives and health.

Shift handover – where industrial accidents are born

Industrial accidents vary across work activities, making it hard to say exactly what causes them. Accidents in one area of occupation, such as mining, will have different causal factors from accidents in an entirely different area of industrial activity, like welding technologies. 

However, according to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), more than 40 per cent of industrial accidents occur during start-up, shutdown and shift handover periods. Clearly written protocols with strict oversight could avoid many of these accidents.

Shift handovers occur on jobsites when shifts are beginning, concluding, or between shifts as crews overlap, additional crews arrive or depart, or when maintenance, janitorial, or other support services overlap in the course of their duties.

The goals of a shift handover include the transfer of responsibilities, transfer of data, takeover of processes in progress, the end of processes in progress, and the start of new processes. This may include cessation of use of heavy equipment, parking of vehicles, turning on or off power areas, and other potentially hazardous events. 

Maintaining vigilance in the application of approved and provided shift handover processes is key to safety.

The ongoing optimisation of shift handover is a process known as shift excellence.

Shift handover software needs to address these shortfalls with an eye toward streamlining processes, providing tracking, and integrating digital infrastructure. The j5 Shift Handover solution is effective because it improves intra- and inter-shift communication and reduces the risk of any potentially hazardous incidents.

Industrial accidents can and will occur. Taking the necessary steps to prevent accidents is important in saving lives, preventing injuries, avoiding production losses and mitigating costly enforcement penalties. 

In order to keep up with the dangers of industrial occupations and the advanced technological level of new industries, new technologies are needed. Bringing digital infrastructure, like j5, into the workplace can replace the antiquated and ineffective processes of the past with solutions for the modern world.

If you’d like to know more about shift handover and where and how manual operations go wrong so you can optimise your processes for the digital age, check out the free infographic here. 

This partner content is brought to you by Hexagon PPM. For more info, visit

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