Operations solutions

4 Essential Elements of a Shift Handover Checklist


In a manufacturing facility, shift handovers dictate how a business can operate non-stop. 

Any difference in their workflow will deter the facility from operational excellence. 

A comprehensive shift handover checklist is an essential tool to facilitate effective communication and risk management between shifts. 

Fortunately, FAT FINGER offers a no-code platform to create the shift handover checklist.

It uses machine learning to coach app users in real-time to make safer and improved decisions

Here’s how to do it yourself:

  • List all the shift information and activities,
  • Identify all the possible issues,
  • Communicate effectively,
  • Use FAT FINGER to address the issues. 

1 – Shift Information and Activities

If your company has different shifts, it means you are operating 24 hours a day. 

Now, imagine some workers reporting to work and getting stuck on problems created by workers on a different shift. Hectic, right?

The solution is simple, use FAT FINGER’s no-code platform to record all the information in both shifts. Its remote collaboration for incident reporting guarantees quality assurance.

Learn More: What do you include in an incident reporting checklist? Our previous article is a comprehensive guide for safety compliance managers.

Our frontline workers’ support creates comprehensive checklists that include all basic information about the shifts. 

Basic information about shifts includes the start and end times of shifts, as well as the names and activities of all the personnel involved. 

Start and End Times

It’s essential to record the exact time the shift starts and ends. 

Here’s why:

  • Start Time. When recording the shift start times, you allow incoming shift personnel to have a briefing with the outgoing shift personnel to get an overview of the operations, ongoing issues, and updates that need to be addressed. 

    This way, the incoming personnel will get up to speed quickly, understand their responsibilities, and be prepared for any changes. 
  • End Time. This allows working personnel to record all the critical information onto FAT FINGER, making it easier to communicate with the incoming personnel. 

    This information helps the incoming shift understand what happened during the previous shift and what tasks need to be completed during the current shift.

Personnel and Their Activities

two supervisors consulting over shift handover

Including the names of all personnel involved in the shift helps to identify who is responsible for specific tasks, and prevents confusion during the handover.

For example, in an oil and gas company, there are typically three types of workers with distinct responsibilities: 

  • Operators. These are responsible for operating the equipment and processes that extract, transport, and refine oil and gas. 

    Their duties include monitoring the equipment, performing routine maintenance tasks, and ensuring that the processes are running efficiently and safely. 

    During the shift handover, the incoming operators receive a briefing from the outgoing operators on any issues that occurred during the previous shift, any maintenance tasks that need to be performed, and any other relevant information that will help them operate the equipment and processes effectively.
  • Technicians. These are responsible for performing maintenance and repair work on the equipment and processes used in oil and gas production. 

    Their duties include troubleshooting equipment problems, performing scheduled maintenance tasks, and repairing equipment as needed.

    During the shift handover, the incoming technicians receive a briefing from the outgoing technicians on any ongoing maintenance work, any issues that require attention, and any other relevant information that will help them perform their duties effectively.
  • Supervisors. They are responsible for overseeing the operations and maintenance levels in the company. 

    Their duties include coordinating the activities of the operators and technicians, ensuring compliance with safety and environmental regulations, and managing the operating budget.

    During the shift handover, the incoming supervisors receive a briefing from the outgoing supervisors on any issues that occurred during the previous shift, any outstanding tasks or projects, and any other relevant information that will help them manage the operation effectively. 

Whether you run an oil and gas company, a large manufacturing facility, or a small business, consider using a digital solution like FAT FINGER to guarantee shift handover excellence. 

By including shift information in your digital checklists, you ensure that critical information is passed smoothly from one shift to another. 

This way, you will improve productivity by easily identifying and addressing issues

2 – Identifying and Addressing Issues

During each shift, there may be a number of incidents, near-misses, or abnormalities that occur. These events can have serious consequences if not addressed in a timely and effective manner. 

Therefore, it is crucial to have a system in place for identifying and tracking these issues.

Start by documenting all findings and issues that arise during a shift. 

This includes any incidents or near-misses, deviations from standard procedures, and any unresolved issues or pending actions that need to be addressed. 

By tracking and documenting these events, the incoming shift can be fully informed of any potential hazards or issues that need to be addressed.

Expert Tip: To safeguard a large manufacturing facility, you will need a risk assessment checklist. This article serves as a guide on how to ensure the safety of your workers.

It is easy to document any issue with FAT FINGER if you do the following:

  1. Clearly identify the issue or incident and describe what happened in detail
  2. Record any deviations from standard procedures and explain what went wrong
  3. Describe any corrective actions taken to address the issue
  4. Clearly document any unresolved issues or pending actions that need to be addressed
  5. Assign responsibilities for addressing these issues and follow-up actions

That’s not all, the incoming personnel is expected to address all the documented issues

In the same way, they will document all the actions taken during their shift, along with any follow-up actions required to fully resolve the issues.

During a shift handover, personnel from both shifts will only be able to efficiently address all the issues if they cover the following aspects in their documentation:

  • Actions taken. These are all the actions intended to address issues or abnormalities that arose during the shift. 

    They include specific steps taken to resolve the issue, the people responsible for taking action, and any documentation or records related to the action taken.
  • Follow-Up Actions. These identify any actions that are required to fully resolve the issues that arose during the shift. 

    They may include clear and concise instructions for each action, the people responsible for completing the action, and a timeline for completion.
  • Documentation. FAT FINGER’s no-code platform can hold clear records of what happened and what actions were taken to address any issues. 

    This documentation provides a valuable resource for future reference and can help to identify trends or patterns that may need to be addressed.
  • Accountability. Clear documentation of the actions taken and follow-up actions required ensures accountability for all personnel involved.

    By clearly identifying the people responsible for taking action and completing follow-up actions, FAT FINGER’s shift handover software promotes a culture of accountability and responsibility. 

That’s not all. When your facility has identified its shift information and activities, the only way it can get personnel in both shifts to collaborate in identifying and addressing issues is through effective communication.

3 – Effective Communication

two operators go over shift handover details

Shift handovers require clear and efficient communication between outgoing and incoming personnel to ensure shift handover excellence.

Here are some key elements to consider when communicating critical information during a shift handover:

  • Clearly defining procedures for communicating critical information, including any safety or quality issues that arose during the shift,
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for each shift to ensure that everyone is aware of their duties and accountabilities,
  • Using clear and concise language to avoid miscommunication or misunderstandings,
  • Ensuring that incoming personnel are given sufficient time to ask questions and seek clarification if necessary.

By following these guidelines, you can help facilitate effective communication and ensure that all necessary information is conveyed accurately and efficiently during shift handovers.

Now, this is important, a shift handover is not complete without a confirmation that both the outgoing and incoming shift personnel understand the information provided. 

This is where the sign-off comes in. 

It serves as a written record of the agreement between the two parties, and is essential for effective communication and accountability.

The sign-off process should be simple and straightforward. 

It can be as easy as both parties initialing or signing off on the checklist. This confirms that they have read and understood the information provided and are now responsible for acting on it during their shift. 

A clear and concise sign-off process ensures that there are no misunderstandings or confusion during the handover process.

Did You Know? While less than 5% of an operation’s staff time is dedicated to start-up, shutdown, and changeover periods, 40% of plant incidents occur during this brief time.


FAT FINGER’s shift handover dashboard

We know how challenging it can be to manage the complexities of shift handovers. That’s why we make shift handovers smooth so you can focus on what really matters.

Well-Pro, an oil field service company, was able to cut its operating cost by $1,000,000 by implementing our risk mitigation recommendations.

“Using FAT FINGER allows us to reduce days outstanding, lost tickets and see our exact daily sales numbers which is a huge benefit for planning our business.” – Casey Roling, VP of Operations, Well-Pro Services, L.P.

In the same way, our shift handover platform gives you the following advantages:

  • Real-Time Recording and Sharing of Shift Information. Our technology allows for the recording and sharing of shift information in real time, ensuring that everyone has access to the most up-to-date data.
  • Improved Communication. With our digital solution, critical information is passed seamlessly from one shift to another, reducing the risk of miscommunication and errors.
  • Increased Productivity. By streamlining the shift handover process, your team can spend less time on paperwork and more time on the job, increasing productivity and efficiency.
  • Improved Risk Management. With our comprehensive checklist and digital solution, you can reduce the risk of incidents and near-misses by ensuring that critical information is passed between shifts.

Here is a table that shows a comparison of shift handover processes with and without FAT FINGER:

Aspect Traditional Shift Handover Shift Handover with FAT FINGER
Time to Complete Handover 30+ minutes <5 minutes
Accuracy of Information Inconsistent Consistent
Ease of Access to Information Limited Easy
Employee Satisfaction Low High
Cost High (manual process) Low (digital solution)

To start your free trial of FAT FINGER’s Shift Handover, visit our website and sign up today. Our solution is easy to use and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your team. 

At FAT FINGER, we are committed to helping our clients streamline their operations and improve their bottom line. Follow the steps outlined in the video below to learn more about our machine learning coaching.

Maximize Your Operation Continuity

FAT FINGER’s shift handover workflow

Using FAT FINGER to create your shift handover checklist is one way of maximizing your operational continuity.

You only need to keep an up-to-date record of all the shift information and activities

FAT FINGER promotes workflow optimization by providing real-time decision-making and machine learning coaching. 

Its Mobile application builders and no-code platforms create custom checklists and support frontline workers.

By incorporating elements such as incident reporting, risk mitigation, and remote collaboration, a comprehensive shift handover checklist can help organizations achieve operational excellence

“Our production line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can be difficult for workers to accurately communicate all the necessary information during shift changes. FAT FINGER revolutionizes our shift handover process with ease and reliability.” – Michael Jones, Production Manager

Ultimately, don’t overlook the importance of shift handovers and start implementing a comprehensive checklist today.

Share on LinkedIn

share on LinkedIn 4 essential elements of a shift handover checklist