Modern application of Fatigue solutions in the industry
The Fatigue Management laws in Australia are more complex than ever. At the same time, the responsibility is not just with drivers. Everyone in the transport chain is now responsible to ensure all necessary steps are taken to prevent driver fatigue violations.
The new laws are consistent with current obligations under Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws that also require employers and employees to take all reasonably practical steps to manage driver fatigue.
This changes the focus from regulating hours to managing fatigue. Working long hours and fighting your body clock at night are widely recognised as high-risk activities. Operators and drivers who do the right thing by managing the risks through accreditation schemes will have a greater say in when drivers can work and rest. Electronic Work Diaries provide a great tool to managing fatigue from the depot and in-vehicle, all in real-time.
Did you know? About 30% of severe single vehicle crashes in rural areas involve the driver being fatigued. 1
Did you know? Around 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue. 1
Did you know? Drivers who have been awake for 24 hours will have a driving performance similar to a person who has a BAC of 0.1 g/100ml. They are seven times more likely to have an accident. 1
Fatigue Management Rule Sets
There are a number of different fatigue management rule sets, all of which vary from state to state. Operators must ensure their drivers are complying with the relevant fatigue rule sets they operate under. Everyone in the transport chain, if found guilty, can face hefty fines and drivers can gain demerit points. Court imposed fines may be issued to any party under Chain of Responsibility if their actions, inactions or instructions contribute to a breach in road transport laws.
Standard Hours – The Standard Hours sets default limits for work and rest, suiting most transport operators. It sets out minimum rest and maximum work hours and includes basic record keeping requirements.
Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) – this accreditation offers more flexible hours while retaining the ability to work 14-hour shifts. BFM gives operators a greater say in when drivers can work and rest providing the risks of working long and night hours are properly managed.
Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) – brings a genuine risk management approach to managing fatigue, rather than prescribing work and rest hours. It offers more flexible hours in return for the operator demonstrating greater accountability for managing fatigue risks. Under AFM, drivers may be allowed to split their continuous rest break for more flexibility.