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Fatigue management – some ways to reduce fatigue

If you work in the transport industry, you could be required to complete a fatigue management course. Basic fatigue management will instruct you on your responsibilities under the new legislation.
Fatigue management requires a multifaceted approach.

Some important factors include:

POWER NAPS

Taking a nap is not a sign of inability to cope with fatigue or being a poor driver; it is good fatigue management practice.  When any opportunity to nap and rest occurs, take it.

PLAN YOUR TRIPS

Most passenger and freight schedules will hinge on pickup and delivery times and dates.  It’s up to you and your Manager or Fleet Controller to plan the details of your Safe Driving Plan to include sleep periods, food and rest stops and extra time for sleeping, should you need it.

You safe driving plan should also include possible delays in your trip due to road repairs, break downs with other road users, flat tyres, wet weather or flooding. Your fatigue management course will detail how to complete your Safe Driving Plan.

DIET

You don’t have to be overweight to be a truck driver.  Eating high calorie, and fatty foods can make you sleepy even if you have had enough sleep. Big meals take more time to digest and can reduce alertness.  Drink plenty of water and eat sufficient food to keep you going.

Here is a list of recommended foods to eat.

  • Breads & Cereals: 4-5 servings daily selected from rice or pasta and bread
  • Vegetables and Fruit: at least 4-5 servings daily of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Meat and Meat Substitutes: 1-2 servings daily of lean beef, lamb, veal, chicken or pork.  Ask for you meat to be grilled rather than fried.
  • Milk or Dairy Products: 3-4 servings daily of milk, cheese or yogurt.
  • Fats: Butter and Margarine: Maximum of 1 tablespoon of butter or table margarine daily.
  • The typical Australian diet is too high in fat, sugar and salt and too low in carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Few people set out to eat a lot of fat, sugar and salt, but these come with many of our favourite foods such as burgers, chips and ice cream.

Complete your basic fatigue management course to ensure you comply with the recent safety legislation.

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