Shutdown Season Part 2

Like I mentioned earlier, the hours and shifts are long…. very long. Working 12 hour days on a 21 day shift (with a random day off in camp) can completely drain you. 12 hour days are hard enough, but when you’re doing it  for a week or two straight, you start to feel like a zombie. When you become that sleep deprived; you are at greater risk for an incident. Make sure you get to bed early. Working a shutdown isn’t the time to stay up all night trading stories with a coworker. Be sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet. This will help keep your energy up. Also try and fit in some sort of physical activity. This could be a full workout or a 20 walk. This will boost your energy and help you sleep. Try and avoid caffeine. I know this is a tough one when your alarm is blaring at 4:30 AM, but you’ll end up more tired in the long run.

Working a maintenance shutdown will almost always include working in confined spaces and practicing LOTO (lock out tag out). Be sure your tickets are up to date and you feel comfortable with these hazards. If you’re not, tell your supervisor. They can partner you with someone more experienced to show you the ropes and help you be more comfortable. If you’re a veteran around these hazards, help workers that aren’t. Remember, you were once there too! Doing a maintenance job is not the time to have an ego about the rookies. Keep in mind, their mistake could be everyone’s problem, so just give some friendly advice or a helping hand.

Working a shutdown can be tough! You have the long hours, the extra people everywhere (seriously you can’t get away from all the people anywhere) grueling days of physical labor, the isolation from friends and family and the camp food (okay some are pretty good). It can be a rough go. However; you need to take care of yourself, get a good night’s rest, proper meals and keep your mind on the job. If you do that, I promise your shift will end and you’ll have a ton of dough to throw around after.

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