Ad-hoc handovers that give managers migraines!

If you were to go and explore how people are accomplishing their end of shift handover, you will find a range of proficiency, styles, approaches and more often than not, gaps. It causes a massive problem for organisations and really is ‘The Elephant in the Room’ when it comes to rework, downtime and efficiency at an operating asset or indeed any stage in the lifecycle of a Mine or Rig. We would therefore like to present to you a collection of handover experiences, in the following ‘7 examples of traditional shift handovers’.

1. The Word Document or Email

Let’s start off with the probably most ‘formalised’ handover method from our examples. Word documents and emails are a widely-used method of handover. However, this handover is troubled by human error, as information might be forgotten, simply copied and pasted without any thought, or the document could be left incomplete altogether. There is no timeliness of execution, as it is often left to the very last minute, and it does not ensure any form of manager visibility.

Good: Formal structure. Bad: Basic, often left incomplete and poorly managed.

(Our rating: 5/10)

2. The Huddle

The ‘huddle’ is a verbal handover that involves many people, and often allows too little time. It mainly discusses the ‘here and now’, and the most dominant characters do all the talking. The ‘huddle’ is coordinated by co-workers and seldom contains management activities. 

Good: Verbal and team oriented, Bad: Nothing recorded, meaning context can be easily lost over time.

(Our rating: 5/10)

3. The Coffee Break

A quick catch up during coffee break might also be the case. Although it ‘may be better than nothing’, this purely verbal handover holds the risk of information getting lost over time or not being passed on in first place, and recall eventually diminishing. 

Good: Verbal, relaxed. Bad: Informal, no clear structure.

(Our rating: 3/10)

4. Handwritten, indecipherable note

Similar to the next entry, a handwritten note on a piece of paper may also find its place in a shift handover. However, the downside of handwritten notes is that they are often illegible or hard to read, and they are likely to be meaningless to the back-to-back. It’s therefore impossible to learn from them  or to build a handover history, even more so as managers never see them in many cases.

Good: Quick. Bad: Spill a coffee on it and you are on your own!

(Our rating: 2/10)

5. The Beermat, Post-it-note, or Back of Cig Pack

Another common method of handover is the use of pretty much anything that a few notes and scribbles can be jotted down on. Needless to say that this method is not ideal for the transfer of information, as the notes might get lost or important issues might be forgotten when writing. Moreover, the size of a post-it-note or similar only allows for a maximum of one or two items to be discussed.

Good: There may be a beer in it for you! Bad: If it gets chucked in the bin, its you that needs to find it!

(Our rating: 1/10)

6. The ‘High Five’

In FIFO work, handovers are (shockingly!) often limited to a ‘High Five’ when one employee meets his back-to-back at the Airport. Yes, time may be restricted in FIFO work, and the scheduling may not even allow the two co-workers to meet face-to-face at all. Nonetheless, this situation clearly does not allow for any information to be transferred whatsoever. 

Good: Saying hello and goodbye, you’re off! Bad: There is really no value at all!

(Our rating: 1/10)

7. ‘Find Out For Yourself’

And now to our, admittedly least helpful, example number 7: ‘Find out for yourself’. Handed over by a co-worker who does not seem to have the least bit of interest in supporting his Back-to-back. Yet when you have been dealt those cards, the only thing you can do is jump into cold water and hope for the best. 

Good: Absolutely nothing. Bad: Where to begin? The very type of handover that helps no one and damages team morale & relationships.

(Our rating: 0/10)

If the examples above look painfully familiar, read on, a solution is closer than you think!

RelayWorks, a digital solution to manual problems!


RelayWorks is designed to move individuals and teams away from outdated & traditional handover methods. Developed in conjunction with a global mining producer it delivers robust, secure and transparent teams handovers. Its easy to use interface gives you and your teams access to a host of powerful features, such as:

Handover Templates

A simple and intuitive Word-like interface that allows users to add items directly to their handover report. Simply add a new line and enter relevant information. The information entered here is the backbone of the handover report that will eventually be sent to your relief, or back to back


As part of the handover process, RelayWorks allows a user to create tasks against a handover item. At the point of handover, the task will be sent to the designated recipient. Once the task has been set and sent, the status of the task can be monitored right through to completion. Tasking lets you leave site confident that what needs to happen in your absence, will happen!

Safety Messaging

With RelayWorks, vital operation-specific safety messages can be scheduled to appear to your teams when they log in to the system. There are currently 16 categories designed to communicate a wide range of safety considerations relating to major hazards and critical controls. With analytics that detail when messages are received and viewed, you can be sure that vital safety information is making it to your teams at the right time.

Easy report building, defined tasking, and vital safety messaging. These are just a small glimpse of the features available with RelayWorks. Manual and ad-hoc handover methods, such as those featured in this article, create dips in productivity and major safety issues. With RelayWorks, teams have access to a digital system that enhances collaboration, drives accountability and puts safety at the heart of the handover process. 

The handover system your teams deserve is just a click away, fill out the form below to request a personalised demo today!