Driver Fatigue Management
The only cure for tiredness is sleep
Extended work hours and shift work
Research has shown that shift work considerably increases the risk of occupational injury. One study suggests that the risk of occupational injury can be increased by 14% where a 12 hour working day is involved, and that when shift lengths were greater than 12 hours there was a 98% increase in involvement in occupational injury (Musa, 2011).
Normal Work Hours
'Normal" hours of work are generally taken to mean a working day with hours left over for rest and recreation. Rest is a night time activity, work is a day time activity (Harrington, 2001). In 1993 the European Community introduced a directive on working hours that specify measures in relation to the scheduling of shifts and rest periods. These measures were designed to limit the number hours of work because of the relationship between long and extended hours of work and occupational injury and illness (Harrington, 2001).
New National Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue laws
In September 2008, new National Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue (NHVDF) laws were first introduced into Australia by the National Transport Commission (NTC,2008). The aim of the new laws was to prescribe new work and rest limits for heavy vehicle drivers and better management of the effects of driver fatigue. The new laws legally change the old belief 'that everything that happens on the road is the driver's responsibility' and now places a legal liability on all parties in the supply chain to take reasonable steps to prevent driver fatigue.
Basic Fatigue Management (BFM)
Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) accreditation allows an accredited driver to work up to 14 hours in a 24 hour period. This provides the driver / operator with greater flexibility in deciding when they can work and rest providing they properly manage the risks and restrictions associated with working long hours and night hours and have a 7 hour continuous rest break in that 24 hour period.
- A 'Long Hour' is any time worked greater than 12 hours in a 24 hour period
- A 'Night Hour' any time worked between midnight and 6 am
Basic Fatigue Management – Solo Drivers (example)
|In any period of...||A driver must not work for more than a MAXIMUM of...||And must have the rest of that period off work with at least a MINIMUM rest break of...|
|6 1/4 hours||6 hours work time||15 continuous minutes rest time|
|9 hours||8 1/2 hours work time||30 minutes rest time in blocks of 15 continuous minutes|
|12 hours||11 hours work time||60 minutes rest time in blocks of 15 continuous minutes|
|24 hours||14 hours work time||7 continuous hours stationary rest time*|
|7days||36 hours long/night work|
|14days||144 hours work time||24 continuous hours stationary rest time taken after no more than 84 hours work time and 24 continuous hours stationary rest time and 2 x night rest breaks# and 2 x night rest breaks taken on consecutive days.|
Basic Fatigue Management laws create a legal basis where the responsibility for managing driver fatigue becomes a shared responsibility which extends to anyone who has control or influence over any aspect of the supply chain, and not just the driver.
A well structure driver fatigue management programme should contain the following elements:
- Fatigue management policy
- A list of definitions
- A set of standards that define:
- Rostering & scheduling
- Fitness for duty
- Fatigue knowledge and awareness training
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Internal review process
- Records & documentation (appendices)
- Fitness to drive - medical evidentiary certification
- Fitness to drive - self assessment
- Quarterly Fatigue Management compliance statement
- Annual Fatigue Management internal review
- Driver work diary explanation