Fatigue Exposures

Fatigue is a significant contributor of vehicle collisions. These often involve fatalities and serious injuries as the driver has significantly slower reactions and impaired observation skills, meaning that high speed impacts are more likely.

Fatigue may be caused by work and non-work related activities. The risk of fatigue increases dramatically with insufficient sleep. Driver alertness is also affected by job demand, repetition, diet, time of day, length of journey, health etc.

Negative Positive
There is no working hours policy. Journeys are not allowed to be made between midnight and 6am.
No monitoring of compliance with the working hours policy. Employees take regular breaks (20 minutes every two hours, or sooner if feeling tired).
Working practices discourage drivers from taking breaks when they feel tired. Daily and weekly working hours are limited by company policy, procedures and supervision.
There are many employees with variable working hours (including planned rotational shifts, schedules and work patterns). Fatigue awareness is at least included in company inductions.
No education is provided for employees on work and non-work related fatigue management. Fixed, daytime hours are worked.

  • Implement a policy limiting the maximum length of the working day/week, including driving time. Recommend to drivers that they take 20 minute breaks every two hours.
  • An example of this is to ensure that employees are empowered to use overnight hotel accommodation, flights/public transport to avoid extensive travel/commute and work in the same day. Eliminate the necessity for employees to make journeys between midnight and 6am.
  • Provide fatigue awareness education to managers, supervisors as well as drivers. This would include work and non-work related issues, as well as guidance on diet, health and sleep.
  • Ideally, establish fixed/regular hours of work as opposed to variable. If this is not possible, or your business is exposed to high fatigue exposures, consider implementing a Fatigue Risk Management System.
  • Regularly monitor compliance with the Fatigue Policy.

Relevant websites