Fatigue Exposures

In order to adequately manage driver fatigue in your operations, you should first establish the level of work related fatigue exposure for your drivers. Two good indicators as to the level of work related fatigue exposure are;

  • the extent and type of work conducted during overnight hours
  • the extent and type of shift / roster changes or rotations.

Negative Positive
A high volume of overnight work. Negligible overnight work.
Many drivers that drive right through the night. If significant overnight work then the journey is broken up with breaks.
A lot of ‘on-call’ work with unpredictable driving hours. Fixed morning, day, afternoon or night shifts / rosters.
Extensive and / or erratic shift / roster rotations. Negligible ‘on-call’ work – predictable driving hours.

  • Whilst the customer demands may be variable, remove this variability from the work patterns for drivers (ie. so that they come to work at the same time on the same days of the week and do tasks / jobs / routes that they are highly familiar with).
  • Try to minimise the volume of overnight work. If overnight night work is necessary then consider higher levels of controls for fatigue, click here.
  • If trips that travel right through the night are necessary then try to break up the trip by implementing driver changeover points (and enable drivers to sleep in their home bed).
  • Aim at fixed shifts / rosters for drivers (to enable them to acclimatise to their work patterns) and have the time of day for the shift in mind when recruiting new drivers for positions. Try to select new drivers that have months / years of experience of working these required hours.