1 DEVELOPING A FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVERS AND OPERATORS
2 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 2 / 20 INTRODUCTION... 4 COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVER FATIGUE IS A MAJOR SAFETY PROBLEM... 4 A DRIVER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN WILL HELP EMPLOYERS MEET THEIR DUTY OF CARE... 4 OPERATING STANDARDS FOR WORK AND REST... 5 THE OPERATING STANDARDS IN THE REGULATIONS ARE USED TO ESTABLISH A SAFE SYSTEM OF WORK... 5 OPERATING STANDARDS FOR WORK AND REST IN ROAD TRANSPORT... 5 DRIVING WITHOUT A RELIEF DRIVER... 5 DRIVING WITH A RELIEF DRIVER... 5 A DRIVER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN... 6 MANAGING COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVER FATIGUE REQUIRES EFFECTIVE POLICIES & PROCEDURES... 6 BASIC PRINCIPLES TO INCLUDE IN A DRIVER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN... 6 DEVELOPING A DRIVER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN... 8 STEPS TO DEVELOP A DFMP... 8 IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE A WRITTEN DFMP... 8 SCHEDULING... 8 ROSTERING OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVERS... 9 FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT... 9 CONTROL MEASURES WHAT IF MY OPERATIONS DO NOT CONFORM TO THE REGULATIONS? COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVER WELL-BEING READINESS FOR DUTY COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVER HEALTH AND FITNESS WORKPLACE CONDITIONS TRAINING TRAINING IS CRITICAL INDUCTION, REFRESHER AND FURTHER TRAINING ARE ALL NECESSARY FORM & CONTENT OF TRAINING OPERATOR SUED FOR PUSHING COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVER ADMINISTRATION RESPONSIBILITIES DOCUMENTATION MANAGING INCIDENTS REVIEWING THE DRIVER FATIGUE MANAGEMENT PLAN AUDIT & REVIEW THE DFMP TO ENSURE IT IS ADEQUATE... 17
3 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 3 / 20 Developing a driver fatigue management plan for commercial vehicle drivers and operators in Western Australia A transport industry training resource originally developed by Lance Poore (Department for Planning and Infrastructure) and Laurence Hartley (Institute for Research in Safety & Transport, Murdoch University). After reading this training information and completing the accompanying self-assessment questions on the SafetyLine website, you should be able to: explain the basic principles of managing fatigue contained in division 10 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations and the draft Code of Practice for Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers; state the principles used in planning a company Driver Fatigue Management Plan (DFMP); explain the importance that commercial vehicle driver well-being has on work performance and fatigue; and explain the importance of knowing the correct procedures and the importance of training and dealing with critical incidents.
4 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 4 / 20 Introduction Commercial vehicle driver fatigue is a major safety problem The concept of Due Diligence has meant that operators must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect the safety and health of their workers, customers and the general public. In turn the need for better standards of safety and health has been matched by an increasing requirement for documentation of commercial vehicle driver operations and activities. Commercial vehicle driver fatigue has long been recognised as a major safety problem in all forms of transport. In other states of Australia, restrictions on hours of work and on-road enforcement using logbooks have traditionally been used to address this issue. In Western Australia we have not gone down this path to control fatigue. Instead Western Australia uses the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 to require employers and employees to work together to achieve a safer road transport industry. A driver fatigue management plan will help employers meet their duty of care The WorkSafe division of the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, and employer and employee representatives from the transport industry have collaborated to produce amendments to the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations and have developed a draft Code of Practice for Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers which sets standards for safe operations in road transport. Those standards are summarized in this training resource which explains the background to the development of a Driver Fatigue Management Plan (DFMP), and aims to provide some help and advice for operators who wish to develop a DFMP or who may wish to revise or update their existing system. So we ll look at the following issues: the basic principles for fatigue management contained in the OSH regulations and the draft code of practice; the steps in producing a company Driver Fatigue Management Plan; commercial vehicle driver well-being an important consideration; administrative tasks necessary to ensure that policies, procedures and contingency actions are performed as required by the regulations; and policies necessary for dealing with critical incidents and for the provision of training.
5 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 5 / 20 Operating standards for work and rest The operating standards in the regulations are used to establish a safe system of work The operating standards included in the regulations provide a guide to industry on how to plan trip schedules and rosters for commercial vehicle drivers that best manage fatigue. The standards emphasise the importance of sleep and the timing of work and rest. The operating standards offer flexibility in hours of work to reflect the geography of WA and the distances between towns. The operating standards, as set out in the regulations, provide guidance to the authorities and the courts as well as providing guidance to operators. The WorkSafe division of the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure use those standards when investigating an incident involving commercial vehicle driver fatigue or checking whether a safe system of work is in place. Operating standards for work and rest in road transport Transport operations must, as far as practicable, be conducted within the operating standards described below. The 24-hour cycle starts at the commencement of work following a long break of 7 hours or more. Operating standards for hours of work and rest Driving without a relief driver (Solo commercial vehicle driver) Minimum continuous non work time in any 24 hours Minimum non work time in any 72 hour period Maximum time between major rest breaks (7 hours or longer) Minimum 24 hour continuous periods of time not working in any 14 days Minimum 24 hours continuous periods of time not working in any 28 days Driving with a relief driver (two-up driving) for each driver Minimum non work time in a 24 hour period Minimum continuous non work time in any 48 hours (must be in a stationary vehicle or away from the vehicle) OR Minimum continuous non-work time in any 7 day period (must be in a stationary vehicle or away from the vehicle) All commercial vehicle drivers Maximum continuous work time (driving and non-driving work time) Minimum break from driving for each 5 hours of work Minimum break from driving to be taken after 5 hours work Maximum work time in any 14 days (unless working to 28 day roster, then it is reduced to 144 hours) 7 hours 27 hours 17 hours 2 periods 4 periods 7 hours 7 hours 48 hours 5 hours 20 minutes 10 minutes 168 hours
6 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 6 / 20 A driver fatigue management plan Managing commercial vehicle driver fatigue requires effective policies & procedures A Driver Fatigue Management Plan (DFMP), as described in the regulations, is a written document that sets out the requirements and procedures relating to how a company will schedule trips; roster drivers; establish a driver s fitness to work; educate drivers in fatigue management; manage incidents on or relating to commercial vehicles; and establish and maintain appropriate workplace conditions. This is not as difficult as you might think. Every company that operates commercial vehicles needs a DFMP, and it should be part of your company s risk management systems. Every company has some risk management systems, even if they are not written down. Preventative truck maintenance is a risk management system, as are commercial vehicle driver rosters. The most effective way to reduce the risks associated with driver fatigue is by planned long-term measures. Rostering and scheduling practices are essential long-term measures, which are supported by short-term practices such as power naps and short breaks. Managing commercial vehicle driver fatigue requires effective management practices and office procedures including: maintaining open lines of communication between management and commercial vehicle drivers; encouraging feedback from commercial vehicle drivers; ensuring that the DFMP is included in commercial vehicle driver induction programs and in other Human Resource procedures and practices; and appropriate documentation and record keeping practices. Documentation of policies and procedures associated with the driver fatigue management plan provides practical evidence that a system is in place and is actively working to manage commercial vehicle driver fatigue. It also allows the effectiveness of the system to be measured. Documentation should be well managed and include numbered and dated systems in place for updating information. Record keeping is also important. Records provide the detail that the program is working and standards are being met. Records are an essential part of an overall risk management program as they provide a history of a particular commercial vehicle driver or management activity. This information may be of vital importance in any legal action. Records must be kept for a minimum of three years. You will need a written driver fatigue management plan. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984 requires employers to provide their employees with a safe system of work. A driver fatigue management plan is evidence that you have a safe system of work in place, and WorkSafe inspectors may ask to see it when visiting your workplace or when conducting an investigation into a serious accident or incident. Basic principles to include in a driver fatigue management plan A number of basic principles apply when developing a Driver Fatigue Management Plan. The following are detailed in the draft code of practice and should be considered as the basis for most systems. Give a commercial vehicle driver at least 24 hours notice to prepare for working time of 14 hours or more. A schedule must permit a solo commercial vehicle driver to have the opportunity for at least 7 continuous hours of rest in any 24-hour period, preferably between 10pm and 8am. Minimise irregular or unfamiliar work rosters.
7 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 7 / 20 Operate flexible schedules to allow for sufficient breaks from driving or discretionary sleep. Minimise very early departures to give commercial vehicle drivers the maximum opportunity to sleep in preparation for the trip. When commercial vehicle drivers return from leave, minimize night-time schedules and rosters to give drivers time to adapt to working long hours especially at night. Require a commercial vehicle driver to present and remain in a fit state for duty including not being impaired by alcohol or drug use. Develop a written policy on fitness for duty in consultation with employees and unions. Provide an appropriate truck sleeper berth if commercial vehicle drivers will be required to sleep in the vehicle. Require regular assessment of a commercial vehicle driver s health by a suitably qualified medical practitioner (to the National Road Transport Commission or Federal office of Road Safety standard). Ensure that the medical assessment includes consideration of sleep disorders and other fatigue related conditions. Identify health problems that affect the ability to work safely, e.g. diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnoea. Provide appropriate employee assistance programs where necessary and practicable. Provide commercial vehicle drivers with information and assistance to promote management of their health. Provide a working environment that meets appropriate Australian standards for seating and sleeping accommodation. When commercial vehicle drivers work a continuous rotating shift system of 5 days or more there must be 24 hours of non-working time between shift changes.
8 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 8 / 20 Developing a driver fatigue management plan Steps to develop a DFMP You might like to consider the following ten-step approach to establishing a driver fatigue management plan in your business. 1. Obtain commitment from management. 2. Obtain management and employee agreement to cooperate. 3. Provide fatigue awareness training throughout the company. 4. Involve employees' families. 5. Incorporate the program in the overall safety and health culture of the company. 6. Establish non-punitive medical screening for health fitness and sleep disorders. 7. Devote attention to commercial vehicle driver scheduling; including provision for adequate rest. 8. Inform clients and enlist their cooperation. 9. Establish a trial period 10. Establish and collect measures of effectiveness; evaluate. It is important that you have a written DFMP At the end of this paper there is a checklist you can use to ensure that your driver fatigue management plan is adequate. You can use this for preparing your driver fatigue management plan documentation. All you need do is check the boxes in the list to show you comply with the Standards laid out there. Of course you must be honest! You may be asked by WorkSafe, to produce your driver fatigue management plan one-day, especially if you have a commercial vehicle that is involved in a serious incident or accident. During their investigation, WorkSafe may need to examine supporting documents that show that your commercial vehicle drivers have had at least 27 hours of rest in any 72 hours, and have worked no more than 168 hours in a fortnight, if they are working to a 14 day roster, and no more than 144 hours in any 14 day period if they are working to a 28 day roster. It is mandatory for the commercial vehicle operator (the Company) to retain trip records for your commercial vehicle drivers for 3 years. Scheduling A key factor in managing commercial vehicle driver fatigue is how a company schedules or plans individual trips to meet a freight task. Where practicable and reasonable, scheduling practices should include appropriate pre-trip or forward planning to minimise fatigue. A commercial vehicle driver should not be required to drive unreasonable distances in insufficient time and without sufficient notice and provision for adequate rest. Scheduling practices should not put the delivery of a load before a commercial vehicle driver s safety or health. If your scheduling practices are inadequate the rest of your system is meaningless. The main risk factor for fatigue crashes is inadequate sleep for one or more nights. Company procedures should recognize that at least 6 hours of sleep is required each night to minimize fatigue. A minimum of 7 continuous hours break must be planned for, to ensure a commercial vehicle driver has the opportunity for at least 6 hours of actual sleep. This is an absolute minimum and may still lead to increased levels of fatigue over a number of days. Schedules should be developed that provide this or greater opportunities for sleep.
9 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 9 / 20 The second main risk factor for fatigue crashes is working when the commercial vehicle driver would normally be asleep. People who work at night have trouble adjusting their body clocks. No matter how much sleep a person has beforehand, they will still feel sleepy between 1.00am and 6.00am. Company procedures should recognize that driving during this period puts employees and other road users at risk. There should be written procedures that demonstrate that schedules are developed with this risk in mind, and that where possible there is the opportunity to sleep during this period. Simply being on the road at 3 am does not mean there will be a crash, but it does mean a greater awareness of the risks is required. Rostering of commercial vehicle drivers Rosters are the commercial vehicle drivers planned pattern of work and rest for a week or more. A commercial vehicle drivers roster and workload should be arranged to maximize the opportunity for them to recover from the effects or onset of fatigue. Rostering practices must as far as practicable, be in accordance with the OSH regulations. Night shift work and rotating or irregular shift patterns are risk factors for fatigue crashes. Company procedures should document how these risk factors are addressed. They should outline how night work is minimised and if it cannot be eliminated, how the company manages fatigue related to night work and documents its approach. Factors to be taken into account To comply with the operating standards, scheduling and rostering must ensure that: A commercial vehicle driver is given at least 24 hours notice to prepare for working time of 14 hours or more. A commercial vehicle driver is not permitted to exceed 168 hours of working time in any 14 day period,. Total non-working time in any 72 hours is at least 27 hours. A solo commercial vehicle driver has least one continuous 7-hour period of non-work time in any 24-hour period and preferably between 10pm and 8am. Continuous periods of work time do not exceed 5 hours before a break of at least 10 minutes is taken. A schedule must allow for an average of 20 minutes breaks from driving for each 5 hours of work time for a commercial vehicle driver, and a minimum break from driving of at least 10 consecutive minutes at the end of 5 hours work time. Maximise the opportunity for sleep and to prepare for a trip by minimizing very early departures. A commercial vehicle driver has at least two continuous period of 24 hours non-work time in 14 days. Minimise irregular or unfamiliar work rosters. Minimise schedules and rosters that depart from daytime operations when commercial vehicle drivers return from leave: commercial vehicle drivers returning from leave require time to adapt to working long hours especially at night. Ensure 24 continuous hours of non-work time between shift changes when commercial vehicle drivers work a continuous rotating shift system of 5 days or more. Time doing work that is incidental to the driving, such as servicing and maintaining the vehicle
10 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 10 / 20 or operating mobile plant is counted as work time and needs to be taken into account when planning trips. Control measures To ensure compliance with the operating standards the following practices should be adopted when a commercial vehicle driver is likely to work more than 14 hours in consecutive 24-hour periods. Replace commercial vehicle driver with a fresh relief driver, where practicable. Reduce the period of work time in the next 24-hour period to ensure that at least 27 hours of non work time is available in any 72 hour period, to recover from the effects of any accumulated sleep debt. Set schedule so commercial vehicle driver can rest when and where most appropriate. Use shared driving, driving with a relief driver (two-up driving). Split trip into shorter continuous driving periods. Schedule rest to precede or coincide with high fatigue risk times, e.g. night and dawn. Change customer pick-up or delivery times where possible. Allow for a day of non-work time after a trip. Remove or modify tasks incidental to the driving, such as loading / unloading, refueling etc, that it is not necessary for the commercial vehicle driver to perform. Ensure a commercial vehicle drivers roster is as regular as practicable. Employ a commercial vehicle driver on light non-driving duties at the depot to allow sleep at home. Ensure a solo commercial vehicle driver has the opportunity for at least 7 continuous hours of rest in each 24-hour period and preferably between 10pm and 8am. Ensure the commercial vehicle driver has access to medical or other appropriate assistance. Develop policies covering fitness for duty in consultation with employees and unions. Train commercial vehicle drivers in the risk factors that may affect fitness for duty and provide relevant control measures. What if my operations do not conform to the regulations? The Occupational Safety and Health Act and Regulations require that company / driver schedules must be designed as far as practicable to operate within the Regulations at all times. The operating standards in the Regulations offer significant operational flexibility and take into account remote area operations and the distances that must be travelled in WA. Commercial vehicle drivers working to the maximum extent allowed by the regulations will in most cases be working to their capacity. This may mean that they are not able to maintain acceptable levels of alertness beyond the hours recommended in the operating standards. It is recognised however that there will be instances where some additional time is required, for instance, if a commercial vehicle has been held up due to unforeseen circumstances such as a road accident, and is a short distance from home, and the commercial vehicle driver is alert enough to safely complete the trip, then this may be acceptable, however where it becomes evident that it is a regular occurrence, the schedule must be adjusted accordingly.
11 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 11 / 20 Commercial vehicle driver well-being Readiness for duty To meet the operating standards, readiness for duty means a commercial vehicle driver must be in a fit state for work when presenting for duty. Commercial vehicle drivers should be aware of the impact of activities such as a second job, other driving, recreational activities, sport, insufficient sleep, consumption of alcohol and drugs, (prescribed or otherwise), and stressful situations. These will impact on a commercial vehicle driver s well being, and capacity to work effectively. These activities may affect their state of fatigue, especially cumulative fatigue, and consequently their capacity to drive safely. A clearly written company policy, developed in conjunction with commercial vehicle drivers should detail the importance of fitness for duty both at the start of and during work time. Procedures for checking with commercial vehicle drivers prior to commencing work should be considered. A Company drug and alcohol policy for employees should be detailed. This policy does not have to include compulsory testing of commercial vehicle drivers. There are many existing examples that can be found to assist in putting a policy together. Alternative work should be considered for commercial vehicle drivers who report as unfit for duty. Does the company provide access to medical or other assistance? Commercial vehicle driver health and fitness The health and fitness of commercial vehicle drivers is an important issue when considering how to manage the risk of ftigue. It directly affects a commercial vehicle driver s ability to deal with the stresses and demands of the job. In turn, poor driver health can result in a number of consequences including the need to find a replacement commercial vehicle driver when a commercial vehicle driver is no longer able to work. It may also result in poor customer service due to late deliveries or rescheduling. Some of the more common health problems that commercial vehicle drivers may experience include: Obesity and heart disease Being overweight or obese is strongly related to high cholesterol levels in the blood and high blood pressure. Both of these factors greatly increase the risks of having a heart attack. Diabetes Diabetes is an illness in which an individual s blood sugar level is out of control. If not controlled, diabetes can make an individual feel fatigued. Diabetes can occur in anyone and at varying degrees, but it is easy to control. Being overweight and not exercising, strongly contribute to the development of diabetes. Sleep apnoea Sleep disordered breathing or apnoea is a serious problem for individuals that snore. In these people the windpipe collapses during their sleep resulting in too little air getting to their lungs. This wakes them up and usually wakes their partners as well. This can happen repeatedly during a night and results in poor and little sleep. A health management system should be developed and implemented to identify and assist those commercial vehicle drivers who are at risk. The system should include medical history, sleep disorders (including those caused by the commercial vehicle drivers family or partner, broken sleep due to children s needs etc), diet, alcohol, substance abuse or dependency and lifestyle. The system should also promote better health management. Commercial vehicle drivers are required to have medicals every three years. Commercial vehicle drivers who are required to undertake medicals for other purposes e.g. to transport dangerous goods or to fly a plane may not need to have an additional fatigue management medical. Workplace conditions Unsafe and unsuitable workplace conditions contribute to fatigue. The ergonomic design standards of a vehicle cabin are important if a commercial vehicle driver is to operate a vehicle safely. Unsuitable
12 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 12 / 20 depot facilities may prevent commercial vehicle drivers from having adequate rest and thus reducing the effects of fatigue. Operators should ensure workplaces comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, its associated regulations and relevant Australian Design Regulations (ADR s) To comply with the requirements of the Act and Regulations, workplace conditions should ensure, as far as is practicable, they meet Australian standards for seating and sleeping accommodation and in particular that: vehicle/ truck cabins are well ventilated; seating suspension is adjustable to the commercial vehicle drivers height and weight; vehicles used for sleep during periods of non-work time are equipped with appropriate sleeping accommodation; and depots provide safe and suitable rest facilities that meet occupational safety and health standards. Vehicles that operate north of the 26 th parallel between 1 October and 31 March should be air conditioned and, if the vehicle is used as alternate sleeping accommodation the air conditioning should be able to run continuously while the vehicle is stationary.
13 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 13 / 20 Training Training is critical Companies may developexcellent procedures to manage safety in their transport operations yet still have incidents and crashes due to employees not following those procedures. Crashes due to commercial vehicle driver fatigue are entirely preventable if correct scheduling practices are followed and there has been training and education on the causes and prevention of fatigue. Training is of critical importance in helping to ensure that correct procedures are known, understood and followed by all employees. Training needs to be undertaken by commercial vehicle drivers, and all employees whose work contributes to the management of fatigue for commercial vehicle operations, covered by the company driver fatigue management plan. This may include those workers who schedule trips and develop commercial vehicle driver rosters. The training must be carried out according to the written procedures of the company. Induction, refresher and further training are all necessary When new employees join the company it is important that they undertake training to give them an immediate awareness of the company s driver fatigue management plan. Further training in the procedures of the DFMP should then occur and certainly before a commercial vehicle driver undertakes any trips or rosters that involve 14 or more working hours. If there are any changes to procedures as the result of an investigation into an incident, or commercial vehicle driver feedback, then employees must be retrained in accordance with the revised procedures. Refresher training at intervals for all employees should also be undertaken. Experience from around the world suggests that in a company some people are prone to, or more likely to be involved in incidents. Further training is one means to address this. Form & content of training Training should consist of formal, written, and on the job instruction, combining the theory with the practical application. For training to be effective there must be some means of objective assessment, to ensure that the person being trained has acquired the necessary competencies. This could take the form of a supervisor observing first hand that the person being trained follows the procedures correctly. In the case of a commercial vehicle driver it could include review of the trip records to assess the correct application of the company DFMP procedures. DFMP training should include information on: Duties imposed on individuals and operators by the fatigue management regulations General duties imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984; Penalties associated with failure to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Regulations; The causes of commercial vehicle driver fatigue, its symptoms and particular effects on heavy commercial vehicle safety including the direct and indirect costs; The policy and procedural factors that may increase the risk of commercial vehicle driver fatigue during operations; and The management of commercial vehicle driver fatigue including the use of napping, and strategies for making lifestyle changes. The level and type of training required for any procedure should be to an agreed standard such as a competency standard. The training should enable a trainee to reach the required level of competence. To achieve this it is desirable that the trainer has not only the required technical skills and knowledge of relevant truck and bus transport operations but also the training skills to impart this knowledge to
14 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 14 / 20 others It is not appropriate to simply post a new procedure on a notice board or insert a new instruction in a manual. Management needs to be clear that employees understand the procedure, understand the need for the procedure, and can carry it out. Employees need the opportunity to ask questions and be satisfied with the response. It is particularly important to use examples that employees may be familiar with from within the industry. It is also important to recognize that some employees may not easily understand written instructions and a briefing or training session would assist them overcome any problems they may have. Training provides the opportunity to reinforce the importance of a DFMP by pointing out the consequences of failure to observe procedures, and what our body is telling us. Examples of serious crashes that have occurred through failure to correctly manage commercial vehicle driver fatigue are a good way of achieving this. A good example is the following story told in the ACT Supreme Court
15 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 15 / 20 Operator sued for pushing commercial vehicle driver Transport companies have been placed on notice after the ACT Supreme Court awarded $389,411 to a truck driver who crashed after being pressured to work excessive hours. The court was told his employer had made the truck driver drive 3671km in 3½ days, during which time he had been able to sleep for only 14 hours. The court heard that the driver had arrived in Wagga around 9pm after driving several thousand kilometres in the previous days. Upon arrival in Wagga Wagga he had received a phone call from his supervisor telling him to hurry up because he had another job near Tumbarumba and he had to arrive there by 3.40am the following morning. The driver said he had told his supervisor that he was buggered and could not do the job and he had been told. Either you do the job or get your gear out of the truck. If you can t handle the job, get out. The following morning the driver crashed his semi-trailer outside Tarcutta after falling asleep and suffered significant injuries, with rescue crews taking five hours to free him from the wreckage before he could be flown to hospital. The case was heard in the ACT because the driver was treated at Canberra Hospital. In his May 23 judgement, Justice Terence Connolly found the Haulage Company had breached its duty of care to its employee and had failed to provide safe working conditions by ensuring he only worked a safe number of hours. Ordinarily, an accident which occurs in these circumstances might not be thought to give rise to a claim in damages, in that the accident could be said to have occurred solely due to the fault of the plaintiff in falling asleep at the wheel [but] he fell asleep at the wheel because he was required to drive well in excess of safe hours and distances, Justice Connolly said. The driver was convicted for negligent driving by NSW Police, who said the basis of the accident was fatigue caused, by driving for excessive hours. A report from Associate Professor, Ron Grunstein from the sleep disorders centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney presented to the court said truck drivers in Australia were frequently exposed to acute and partial chronic sleep deprivation. This is frequently an occupational reality in the Australia Transport Industry, the report found. The court was also told drivers kept two logbooks, one that was false, to show to authorities they were complying with regulations. The company was ordered to pay the plaintiff $389,411 as well as his legal costs.
16 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 16 / 20 Administration Responsibilities The success of a driver fatigue management plan is dependent on the commercial vehicle operator, their clients and commercial vehicle drivers knowing and carrying out their responsibilities and authorities, to ensure policies, procedures and contingency actions are performed as required by the Driver Fatigue Management Plan. Responsibilities included in the driver fatigue management plan should be defined and written in to company position and job descriptions, which should be kept current. Documentation Employers must keep records of all regular and irregular trips, commercial vehicle drivers schedules and rosters. These could be based upon trip sheets or pay records and delivery dockets. They must detail information in relation to work time, breaks from driving and non-work time, to demonstrate that the company and its commercial vehicle drivers are conforming to the Driver Fatigue Management Plan, and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. Where appropriate, existing procedures and documentation should be used, however if it is necessary to develop new forms, it is wise to include samples as part of the plan. In particular, documentation and records should detail how the company and its commercial vehicle drivers address the agreed operating standards and if the standards are not met, how control measures are put in place. Procedures for maintaining personnel records (kept on a confidential basis) should also be detailed. These records could include information on any work restrictions imposed, or applicable rehabilitation programs, and copies of current medical certificates. All those responsible persons at a workplace, such as managers, supervisors and commercial vehicle drivers should be trained in completing and maintaining the forms and documentation that support the DFMP. Managing incidents Fatigue leads to inattention and errors in judgement and may be an underlying cause of seemingly minor incidents. Fatigue, as a causal factor, should not just be considered in respect to serious crashes, as it could be contributing to minor incidents. An incident reporting system increases the chance of a complete, competent and caring response to selected events. Incidents reports should include those causing injury or damage but just as important are those with potential to have caused serious injury or damage A driver fatigue management plan should require all unsafe incidents to be recorded. Sufficient information should be collected to target unsafe practices and prevent future injuries and damage. Company policies that promote and encourage all employees, sub-contractors and relief staff to report all unsafe incidents (including those that are potentially dangerous) should be developed, and a review of the DFMP for procedural shortcomings should be undertaken after any unsafe incident.
17 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 17 / 20 Reviewing the driver fatigue management plan Audit & review the DFMP to ensure it is adequate A policy and procedure for a DFMP may exist on paper, and training may have been provided but at the end of the day it is what actually happens that matters. Many companies are found wanting when a review or audit occurs and the true picture actually emerges. What actually happens may not be the safe system of work that the policy and procedures specify. A DFMP review should be undertaken following any unsafe incident, which either caused or had the potential to cause injury or damage. Random reviews should also take place to ensure procedures are being followed. The purpose of a review is to ensure there is sufficient information gathered for action to be taken to prevent any future occurrence of the unsafe incident and those procedures are developed or modified to prevent any further harm or injury. There should be policies in place that promote and encourage all employees, sub-contractors and relief staff to report all unsafe incidents including those where there has been no injury or damage. It is only by being thorough and ensuring all incidents are reported and risks are assessed and controlled that serious injuries and deaths will be prevented in the workplace. Systems and methods of compliance OPERATING STANDARD Commercial vehicle driver is given at least 24 hours notice to prepare for working time of 14 hours or more. COMPLY Continuous periods of work time do not exceed 5 hours. Flexible schedules permit breaks from driving or discretionary sleep. A solo commercial vehicle driver must have the opportunity for at least 7 continuous hours of rest in any 24 hours, preferably between the hours of 10pm and 8am. Maximise the opportunity for sleep to prepare for a trip by minimising very early departures. Trip rostering practices OPERATING STANDARD COMPLY Commercial vehicle driver does not exceed 168 hours working time in 14 days. Commercial vehicle driver has at least two periods of 24 continuous hours non-work time in 14 days, or 4 periods of 24 continuous hours in 28 days Minimise irregular or unfamiliar work rosters. An appropriate truck sleeper berth is available if sleeping in the vehicle. Minimise working time in irregular or unfamiliar work rosters. Minimise schedules and rosters that depart from day time operations when commercial vehicle drivers return from leave. Total non-working time is at least 27 hours in any 72 hours. Solo commercial vehicle driver has at least 7 continuous hours of rest in any 24 hour period (preferably between 10pm and 8am). Schedule allows for 20 minutes breaks from driving for every 5 hours work time. Minimum break from driving of at least 10 consecutive minutes after 5 hours work time.
18 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 18 / 20 Commercial vehicle driver readiness for duty policies OPERATING STANDARD COMPLY A commercial vehicle driver is required to remain in a fit state for duty including not being impaired by alcohol or drug use. A written policy on fitness for duty developed with employees and unions. Commercial vehicle driver health practices (including any relevant publications or information brochures) OPERATING STANDARD Commercial vehicle drivers health is assessed regularly by a suitably qualified medical practitioner to the NRTC or FORS medical assessment of commercial vehicle drivers standard. Medical assessment includes consideration of sleep disorders and other factors that contribute to fatigue. COMPLY Identify health problems affecting ability to work safely, e.g. diabetes, heart disease. Provision of appropriate employee assistance programs where available. Commercial vehicle drivers are provided with information and assistance to promote management of their health. Workplace conditions OPERATING STANDARD A working environment meeting appropriate Australian Standards for seating and sleeping accommodation. (Minimum standard for truck sleeper berth is ADR 42, or in a tour bus/coach adequate sleeping accommodation as prescribed by relevant legislation). A vehicle cabin should meet the requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984(including as a minimum ventilation in accordance with ADR and seating suspension that is adjustable to a commercial vehicle drivers weight and height). The commercial vehicle operator should ensure depots provide safe and suitable facilities that meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act Truck cabins should be air conditioned where practicable, comfortable and the system checked before the trip commences. Vehicles used above the 26 th parallel between 1October and 31 March are airconditioned, and if used as alternative sleeping accommodation while the vehicle is stationary, a system which can be run continuously should be provided. COMPLY Training and education practices OPERATING STANDARD COMPLY Duties imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act The penalties for failure to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 Identify the causes of commercial vehicle driver fatigue. Recognise the symptoms of fatigue, develop strategies to enable better management and assist in making lifestyle changes, including conducting risk assessments and applying control measures. Prevention of commercial vehicle driver fatigue. All managers, supervisors and commercial vehicle drivers participating in the DFMP
19 Developing a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators 19 / 20 are trained in how to manage commercial vehicle driver fatigue, including factors that cause and affect fatigue. How to develop and maintain a DFMP. Commercial vehicle operators management staff, commercial vehicle drivers and other employees involved in the operation of the DFMP are trained in the operation, administration and verification of the DFMP. DFMP operation, administration, verification and participation. Refresher training and education needs are identified, documented and provided to employees. Training and education programs are documented and employee participation is recorded. Requirements for the responsible person at the workplaceand other staff involved in the management, operation, administration, participation & verification of the DFMP * OPERATING STANDARD COMPLY The operator should develop the DFMP in consultation with commercial vehicle drivers and clients. Duties of the operator and commercial vehicle drivers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act Where appropriate the commercial vehicle operator or the responsible person at the workplace, should delegate staff to implement the DFMP. Maintaining records of trip schedules, rosters, work time, breaks from driving and non-work time, and any other information necessary to demonstrate that the Company conforms to its DFMP. * Refer to section 57 Documentation and records OPERATING STANDARD A DFMP System documents how the company and its commercial vehicle drivers conform to the Operating Standards where practicable and when the standards are not met, how this is dealt with. Records that document all work time, breaks from driving and non work time, commercial vehicle driver s schedules, including rosters. Records include all trips performed, including details of any trip alterations. They show sufficient information to determine that the company and the commercial vehicle driver have conformed to the DFMP. Personnel records that include copies of current medical certificates and applicable rehabilitation programs are kept on a confidential basis. COMPLY Records are kept for a minimum of 3 years. Management of incidents OPERATING STANDARD Procedures are in place to monitor, record and investigate all incidents and to take corrective action as soon as is practicable. Sufficient information for action to be taken to prevent future occurrences of the identified cause of the unsafe incident. Company policies that promote and encourage all employees, sub-contractors and relief staff to report all unsafe incidents including those where there has been no injury or damage. COMPLY
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