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T: 01636 816 466

The Old Vicarage
Station Road, Rolleston
NG23 5SE                              

Operational Research

You can always be more efficient

Operational Research is all about using analysis to improve decision making. Dr Angela Moore uses mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, optimisation, sequencing and scheduling techniques to create simple heuristics you can employ to run your operation more efficiently.

So What's Wrong with the 4on4off?

The 4on-4off is the worlds most popular shift pattern, it is also the best well known. 

It is a holidays excluded shift pattern, normally using D (day shifts) and N (night shifts) both 12-hour shifts.

The rotation period is 16 days, which does not fit into a 7 day week. Therefore the full rotation is 16 weeks. The shift pattern consists of working 4 day shifts followed by 4 days off then working 4 night shifts followed by 4 days off. 

The advantages of this shift pattern is that it is easy to follow and well known. 

However the disadvantages are:

  • Shift workers only get 5 whole weekends off out of 16
  • The nights are worked in blocks of 4 which from a fatigue point of view is the worst possible combination
  • Weekend cover is difficult because they get so few weekends off, no body wants to come in a work cover at weekends
  • Holidays are also more popular at weekends on this shift pattern than ones which revolve around a 7 day structure. 

If you are currently reviewing your shift pattern why not consider some alternatives to the 4on-4off

My book How to Manage Your Shift Pattern includes the most popular shift patterns with their pros and cons. Also to find out more about shift working and fatigue this book contains a full chapter on the causes and consequences of fatigue and how to minimise fatigue when on shift.