Truck Driver Fatigue
It is no secret that fatigue can kill, fatigue is one of the biggest killers on our roads, in a recent study carried out by John Curtain university, it was found that over 10% of accidents were caused by driver fatigue. The study also found that truck drivers who have not completed fatigue-management training are six times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Fatigue impairs your ability to safely perform even basic-driving tasks. It decreases reaction time, affects judgment, and can result in erratic-driving behavior. If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while traveling at a speed of 100 km/h the vehicle will have gone 111 meters without a driver in control.
For truck drivers and those who work in transport, where there is a increased risk of an accident when fatigued, there will, most likely be significant consequences if a work place incident occurs.
Effects of Fatigue
Aside from the risks on the roads, it has also been revealed that fatigue affects a person’s health, long term exposure to fatigue through things like shift work, extended working hours and chronic sleep loss can lead to conditions that may include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Depression, and
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue can be caused by work-related factors, factors outside work and/or a combination of both, and may accumulate over time.
These can include factors such as;
- The mental and physical demands of work
- Shift work, working outside of normal daylight hours (7am-6pm)
- Working hours, work scheduling and planning
- Environmental conditions, and
- Individual circumstances
- Inadequate rest times
- On call work
- Rotating shifts
- Regularly working more than 12 hours a day
- Sleeping away from home
- Less than 10 hours rest between shifts
Successful implementation of fatigue management
Fatigue management training, policy and procedure goes beyond just the drivers. For fatigue management to be successfully implemented it must be introduced across the company particularly to those involved in daily transport functions and most importantly those with influence over drivers activities;
- Sales people, and
Without the cooperation of schedulers and the like a lack of understanding of issues affecting divers can develop, issues such as; work times, adequate rest breaks and fair working conditions can arise, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and the public who they share the road with.
Latus can provide Fatigue Management training solutions and well as the implementation of policy and procedures.