Boom-time worker shortage raises safety concerns

EAP provider sees rise in workload-related stress
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/22/2005

As human resources manager in a Calgary-based oilfield services company, Coleen Hutton is concerned about the impact that the province’s booming economy, along with the accompanying labour shortage, has on the pace of work — and what it might mean for employees’ health.

Hutton points to the young workers at her company pulling 14-hour shifts when it gets busy, partly because the work needs to be done, but also because the overtime pay they get after 12 hours is very appealing.

“One of the reasons people are working more overtime is because we just don’t have enough staff. Partly, it is because of the fact that the labour shortage is driving up salaries and pay rates, making it financially lucrative to put in a lot of overtime,” said Hutton.