Today’s story on Sydney’s garbage truck drivers illustrates the need to have sound fatigue management practices in place for truck drivers. Former garbage truck drivers said they were required to work marathon shifts, which lead to fatigue related mistakes. They said they were on the road regularly for 14 hours and sometimes up to 17 hours.

Garbage truck driver Tony Farrow was dismissed when he refused to keep driving on a particularly long shift. He said he was constantly working 14-15 hour shifts. Driving a 22 tonne garbage truck is not like driving a car, when your manoeuvring the vehicle you only have a little room for error and when you are fatigued you start making little mistakes, which can be very unsafe for everyone.

Heavy vehicle drivers need to get fatigue management training

Heavy vehicle drivers such as garbage truck drivers are the most affected by fatigue related causes. This is because they work long hours in their line of work. Fatigue management is an important aspect of ensuring that we function at optimal rates. It is important for heavy vehicle drivers to undergo fatigue management training to obtain proper fatigue management skills.

The Transport Workers Union said that most of the council garbage drivers had no fatigue management training.

Under NSW law, truck drivers are allowed to work one 12-hour shift every 24 hours, or up to 14 hours if they and their employer have fatigue management training and accreditation.

Drivers and their employers should be trained in basic fatigue management training to manage fatigue. The training ensures both the drivers and employers have the knowledge of how fatigue arises and how to tackle cases of fatigue. Online fatigue management courses are a convenient way to get accreditation.

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