Fatigue Management in WA

Driver fatigue is a significant safety hazard for the road transport industry and a silent killer on WA roads. The main causes of ‘drowsy driving’ are too little sleep, driving at times when you would normally be asleep and working or being awake for very long hours. For the road transport industry the issue is about managing the road transport chain in its entirety to ensure that no driver has a lifestyle, schedule or workload that is so demanding to be dangerous.

Currently in WA Worksafe administrate the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. The Code of Practice – Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers (2004) provides practical guidance to industry on requirements in occupational safety and health regulations for driving commercial vehicles. The regulations establish an operating standard for hours of work and rest and other requirements for the management of fatigue for commercial vehicle operators.

What is the responsible person (manager, supervisor owner/operator) required to do?

Begin by going to the Commercial Vehicle Driver Fatigue Management Training Package on the Worksafe website.

There is an online test all drivers and their supervisors are required to do. The booklet Staying Alert at the Wheel (produced by the Office of Road Safety, reprinted 2008), details the causes and effects of fatigue, ways to reduce fatigue, checklists, guidance on roster and schedule design and driver fitness for duty. It provides valuable study information for the online test.

Here you will also find a Fatigue Management Plan for Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Operators and other resources including a Driver Health Questionnaire.

A Guide to Main Roads Rest Areas and Roadside Amenities

Planning ahead is crucial to managing fatigue on long road trips. This link lists the rest areas and amenities Main Roads provide on 17 major routes through WA to enable you to manage fatigue whilst traveling. It contains roadwork/event notifications for all road users.

Are you getting the best from your employees?

Beyond Midnight have been researching and delivering fatigue management training for over 19 years and Transafe WA forum participants have been regularly intrigued by Nick Mabbot’s excellent explanations of sleep, why it is necessary and how to get the best you can.

Go to the Beyond Midnight website for fatigue risk management education and awareness training for staff, employees and family members, and for useful downloads.

Download a Beyond Midnight brochure.

Download Nick’s presentation ‘Thought provoking options for reducting fatigue’s contribution to road crashes’ from the 5th and 6th Transafe WA Road Transport Industry Safety Forums.

Nick’s sleep diary is made available to all Transafe WA forum participants to fill in for a review if they suspect they have a sleep issue or problem. You can download Nick’s sleep diary  and email it to nickm@beyondmidnight.com.au

Other resources

Prepared by the South West Industry Road Safety Alliance, ‘Toolbox Video 3: Fatigue’ is a useful free download.