Select Page

Shift Handover

Accident investigations often identify failure of communications during shift handover as a causal or contributory factor. The Keil Centre has produced guidance and methods for the UK Health and Safety Executive on auditing shift handovers. We offer training and expertise in auditing to help organisations improve their shift handover processes and reduce risk.

Who's it for?

There are many situations where safety critical information needs to be communicated. This may include across shifts or between work parties. This service is relevant for anyone who needs to ensure that important information is communicated properly. We help organisations to audit their shift handover processes and provide training to do this for themselves.


We provide a forensic review of your existing:

  • transmission and receipt of safety critical information during handovers
  • conduct of handovers
  • log/ record design

Our consultants support the development/ revision of handover procedures, practice and logbook/ recording designs, and evaluate the changes after three months in operation.

We provide you with the confidence that your safety critical communications are properly structured and conducted.

Find out more

Our team are happy to provide more information. Please click on the relevant button below to contact us.

Getting shift handovers right is extremely important to ensure safe and efficient continuity of work. This starts with setting the required standard and specifying how the handover is to be conducted. It includes checking that handovers are being conducted as per the standard. Organisations can learn to do this themselves or use us as external auditors. We support organisations to audit and improve handovers and the supporting procedures, processes and documentation.

The Keil Centre developed guidance on effective shift handover for the UK Health and Safety Executive (Offshore Technology Report 96 003). The guidance quantified the significance of shift handover errors as causal or contributory factors in incidents.  It defined guidance to improve shift handovers including:
  • recognising effective shift handover communication as a high priority
  • defining communication skills within selection criteria for shift-workers
  • developing the communication skills of existing staff
  • providing procedures which specify how to conduct an effective shift handover
  • placing greater reliance on written communication during handovers
  • allowing longer shift handovers following longer periods of absence from work;
  • where possible, planning maintenance work to be completed within one shift to eliminate the risk of miscommunication of maintenance issues at shift handover
When we perform audits or train others to perform a shift handover, we focus on the key areas. This includes the information requirements, the systems, logs/ records and procedures for handover. End users must be involved throughout the audit process and specification of the new handover processes.