The first Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) application kit is easier to access for operators looking for flexibility in their work and rest hours, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
NHVR Fatigue Specialist, Andreas Blahous, said AFM allows operators to propose their own hours and rules to meet the unique demands of their operations, rather than
sticking to prescriptive work and rest hours.
“AFM has been an option for operators wanting additional flexibility since 2008, but feedback from industry at the Fatigue Safety Forum was that the application process was difficult,” he said.
“The new AFM application kit and tools provide practical examples of how operators have used AFM in the past to meet their needs and the types of countermeasures they used to stay safe and manage the seven fatigue principles.
“When assessing the safety of flexible driving hours, we also look at the seven fatigue principles as well as the operator’s countermeasures, such as sleep, rest, the use of fatigue monitoring technology and other management practices.”
The AFM application kit was released at the Queensland Transport Association’s ‘Finding Flexibility in Fatigue Management’ workshop at the Port of Brisbane in April.
Andreas said heavy vehicle crashes as a result of fatigue have fallen to less than 10 per cent in recent years, compared to more than one-in-four crashes in 2003.
“This downward trend in fatigue-related crashes is a great result but we need to continue to offer opportunities for operators with strong safety systems and management practices to access flexibility,” he said. “The NHVR held a Fatigue Safety Forum in October last year and the clear message from industry was that they don’t want more driving hours—they want more flexibility within the driving hours.”