Driver Fatigue Management
It’s happened to all of us, the nodding head, drooping eyes, and trying to shake that acute feeling of sleep while driving Canada’s highways. Many of us are driving on the job with an overwhelming sense of being tired. It is a definite safety hazard made more acute when you consider how many jobs require several hours behind the wheel each week. The most obvious industry susceptible to drowsy-driving is the transportation industry where truckers burn the midnight oil on a regular basis to avoid the busy traffic of the daylight hours and strive to meet deadlines. But the energy, mining, and construction industries all have their share of time spent driving — and the safety hazards and safety regulations associated with long-periods behind the wheel are paramount in the occupational health and safety industry.
Consider this; if you haven’t had 7-8 hours of sleep before you drive then you are likely driving tired. Add this fact with the knowledge that people driving with less than 6 hours sleep will triple your risk of a crash. According to Transport Canada, it is estimated that about 20 percent of fatal collisions involve driver fatigue (this percentage is calculated by eliminating other possible causes such as speeding, unsafe passing, alcohol impairment, etc. [CCMTA, 2010]).
Whether driver fatigue is caused by working rotating schedules, working the night shift, poor-quality or lack of sleep, the results are the same, a delayed reaction-time and a decreased ability to process information regarding vehicular activity around us.
Safety Registries and Fatigue Management
Safety registries like ISNetworld®, PICS Auditing, ComplyWorks, and CQ Network require up-to-date Fatigue Management programs in order to address hazards like driver fatigue. Fatigue Management Programs (FMP) are created to increase awareness of fatigue, manage the risk factors and hazards, and prevent related injury and illness. Via the FMP, safety registries require that management and workers must understand what fatigue is, how extended hours of work (or consecutive days of work) can affect fatigue and the proper proactive methods to deal with worker fatigue. Training for workers, supervisors, and management who require the training will occur at or near orientation and thereafter as necessary.
Fatigue is a serious workplace topic. Canada’s provincial occupational health and safety administration bodies are increasing the fines associated with employers’ responsibility with their workers’ health and safety, including fatigue management.
Questions about Fatigue Management and safety registry compliance can be answered by our safety professionals.