What’s a Cross Shift?

By Geological Technicians Rob Lyght and Roydon Spence

Rob and Roydon working together on Orange Shirt Day

At Esker Site work is scheduled on a two-week rotating basis and cross shifts are used to keep duties and work moving forward.

A cross shift is a type of schedule where two workers carry out the same or similar work passing tasks to a partner when they go home, on vacation or on break.

It’s great to work a cross shift, because you don’t have to worry about getting everything done before leaving site, which eliminates the need to rush. This helps create a safe, healthy team environment, because when workers or supervisors feel they have to rush to finish a job or task, injury and property damage can result.

Another benefit is saving money by keeping the yard, facilities and equipment well-maintained and ensuring PPE gear is up-to-date and tidy. Working a cross shift also lets you combine skills so you are each able to use your strengths to work effectively as a group. There are some challenges of course. Lack of co-operation or poor communication can occur. It can be hard to remember what information to pass on to your shift partner so they can carry on from where you left off. Updating the “Work Notes” before leaving site can help by showing your partner what’s complete and what’s not.

Communicating on shift change day is also an important key to success. Duties for each role are broken down differently. For our role, work includes various types of field work like core storage and geo-teching. When something comes up last minute, we either tell our supervisor or speak to our cross shift “partner” at the lake. If all else fails, we call or send an e-mail. This work arrangement sets you up for success by having a teammate you can rely on!