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Fatigue is a kind of tiredness that can be both physical and psychological and it can take time to repay lost sleep (known as a sleep debt). For physical fatigue, one is not able to perform physically as he used to do before having the condition, and for psychological fatigue, concentration ability is altered. On-going fatigue can easily weaken the immune system of an individual and hence making that person susceptible to diseases and ailments. Even then, fatigue can be considered important as it warns the body of about an impending problem. Fatigue can be caused by poor nutrition, poor lifestyle and lack of enough rest, depression, anemia, low hormone levels and other disease infections. We like to say that sleep is the golden thread that ties your health together.

Basic fatigue management is a program that allows operators (usually those involved in transportation industry like truck drivers) flexibility between working hours and rest hours. The Basic Fatigue Management program does this by training you on the risks that are associated with long working hours and night hours to ensure that they are properly managed (TLIF1007C Apply Fatigue Management Strategies). In short, basic fatigue management allows a driver to work up to 14 hours per day. Through fatigue risk management alterations can be made to reduce the risks involved with fatigue. Companies must also become accredited with State Transport Authorities before applying for basic fatigue management accreditation. The requirements are numerous but the basic of all is that an operator must create and maintain a fatigue management system that will meet the six basic fatigue management standards that can be audited. The six basic fatigue management standards include rosters and schedules, fitness for duty, knowledge and awareness of fatigue management, duties and responsibilities of operators, documentation and records and finally a review that verifies that activities are in line with the fatigue management program.

Application of a fatigue management system

Before considering applying for the basic fatigue management, an operator should have knowledge of his obligations as stipulated under the business rules, ensure implementation of fatigue management system that contains the standards, and he should undergo a personal independent audit of fatigue management system, with the assistance of an approved auditor who will issue the report. There needs to be at least one supervisor trained in basic fatigue management (TLIF6307A Administer the Implementation of Fatigue Management Strategies).

On the completion of the above, one becomes eligible to apply by submitting your basic fatigue management policies and procedures for an entry audit. Application involves completion of an entry audit form that will contain correct contact information, which should be signed by an auditor. Relevant transport authorities sign off on this and issue the company with a basic fatigue management number that needs to be used by all drivers on the daily work diary sheet.

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