Fatigue Management:12-Hour Shifts Killing Workers

Recent research has revealed that workers suffer a multitude of problems that are associated with working 12-hour shifts and rotating shifts. Some of these problems can include a disturbed body-clock, shortened and distorted sleep, and a disturbed family and social life.

These issues resulted in acute effects on fatigue, mood and performance when adequate coping strategies are absent. Often times, these issues can progress into chronic effects on the mental and physical well being of a person, as well as a risk of cardiovascular gastrointestinal problems.

Furthermore, the results have revealed the obvious, which is that a lack of sleep or heightened fatigue can increase safety risks.

The research was founded by Professor David Peetz and Associate Professor Georgina Murray of  the Griffith University Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, based on a survey carried out between August and December 2011.

The survey examined the effects of shift rosters and working hours in the mining industry. Respondents included 2566 Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union members and 1915 partners of miners.

A large percentage of respondents referred to sleeping difficulties, use of anti-depressants, and fatigue. Partners found that their spouses were too tired to function properly within the family.

There are growing numbers of studies being conducted into shift rosters as the 24-hour operation of mines and other operations become more prevalent. To many Australians, it is a 24-hour working world.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/53879


Workplace Fatigue Guidelines Released

A new guide to managing risk factors arising from fatigue in the PS workplace and others has been prepared and released by Safe Work Australia for review and comment.

The draft Managing the risk of fatigue at work publication provides practical guidance for managing fatigue and ensuring it does not contribute to health and safety risks in the workplace.The consultation process in the Commonwealth arena is being managed by Comcare. The draft guide was developed as part of a process to harmonise work health and safety laws and provide a consistent approach across Australia.

It says the information in it can be applied generally to all types of work and all workplaces covered by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.    “It is not designed to provide information on how to manage fatigue in specific industries and does not replace requirement related to fatigue under other laws,” the guide says, “for example heavy vehicle driver fatigue laws or rail safety requirements under the Rail Safety National Law.  “The steps that need to be taken to manage the risk of fatigue will vary from one workplace to the next, depending on the nature of the work, environmental conditions and individual factors.“The first step in the risk management process is to identify all reasonably foreseeable factors that could contribute to the risk of fatigue.” 

It said there may not be obvious signs of fatigue at the workplace but that did not mean it was not occurring or factors that increased the risk of fatigue were not present.

More info on Fatigue Management Training


Tasmania’s Ambo Workers Face Fatigue Issues

Tasmania’s ambulance workers are reportedly at risk of being “worked into the ground” because  of a dramatic increase in overtime.

Tasmania Liberal party health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff cited leaked statistics that showed ambulance workers were on the job a total of 3469 hours overtime in the first two months of 2013 in southern Tasmania. He states that the data also shows that at least 30 crew shortages occurred and sometimes service was cancelled completely. 

“This is clearly an ambulance service in crisis,” he said.

Rockliff emphasized that staff were under stress which could potentially result in a workplace accident.

“As one paramedic put it in a recent survey: ‘It’s only a matter of time before a staff member crashes a vehicle or suffers major ill health due to exceeding their stress-fatigue limit’,” Mr Rockliff said.

The Government stated an additional $48 million had been spent on ambulance services over four years, but demand for services was on the rise. 

To cope with the demand, an additional 18 paramedics have been employed since December and 12  more are expected to  be employed in April.

More info on Fatigue Management

Source: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2013/03/24/375349_tasmania-news.html

Mental Fatigue or “Burn Out” — A Recognised Disorder Costing Billions

Executive burnout is a condition that costs business billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and stress leave. In order to avoid this, corporate leaders should be given “mental checks” to ensure that they haven’t succumbed to mental fatigue.

Burnout is one of the only mental disorders  Work Safe Australia believes to be directly influenced by  excessive work. Reports indicate that burnout leads to a “stress bill” of  $20 billion to businesses annually.

Over worked executives are at the highest risk and their slow descent into complete burnout can  negatively effect companies while also spilling out into personal lives.

Robyn McNeill is a prime example of someone who has been negatively impacted by burnout. McNeill came close to losing her family and her life when she was tried to constantly balance her high pressure project management job with her personal life.

“The first episode of burnout I had was when I walked out on my two kids and their father because I couldn’t cope,”  says Ms McNeill.

“It was fight or flight syndrome, and I chose flight. I didn’t realise I had burnout, I thought my marriage was the problem, I was blaming everyone else.”

“I was mentally exhausted and unable to cope with situations I could normally deal with. One day I told my husband to take all the sleeping tablets and throw them away because if he didn’t, I would take them all.”

Ms McNeill believes her situation could have been helped, had she sought assistance early on.

“It is a journey to burnout,” she says “It starts with stress but if you take no action, the symptoms get worse. You start to lose clarity of thinking, the ability to make good decisions or to be creative, your physical and mental health are in decline. You need to identify what is going on and take action early.”

Clinical psychologist Dr Simon Kinsella suggests that businesses should arrange an annual mental health check for top executives to help tackle issues that some may not acknowledge as problems.

“I am definitely seeing more cases of executive burnout. Executives and CEOs have a higher level of pressure to deal with such as mergers or insolvencies. But they have very driven personalities, they feel weak if they are not coping, and they fear if they show signs of weakness, the culture at executive level will see them as vulnerable,” Dr Kinsella says.

Signs of  BURNOUT 

Recognising and acknowledging  burnout early is a key step in  avoiding it’s disastrous effects one’s  life. Some symptoms are as follows:

  • Inability to sleep-   Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns is a frequent sign of someone under too much stress
  • Unusual Moods-  Males often display overt aggression when  burnout, while women are more likely to cry for what seems like insignificant issues.
  • Unusual Eating habits.
  • The feeling that you are unable to cope
  • Feeling Depressed 
  • Lashing out and blaming others for how you feel 

More info on Fatigue Management

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/meltdown-exec-burnout-costing-billions/story-e6frg6n6-1226508470134

Unions Worried About Weakened Fatigue Legislation

Regulation to manage fatigue among NSW train operators may be weakened under proposed reforms, according to the national rail union.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union stated that the  reforms could result in drivers working for over 10 hours at a time. These new national rail safety laws will reportedly replace state-based laws. States have accepted the new laws, although Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian succeeded in her attempts to retain stronger fatigue management provisions in NSW.

Both Transport for NSW and the Federal Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese state that fatigue management systems will not be weakened under the new laws. However,  national secretary of the RTBU, Bob Nanva stated that semantically, the draft federal laws threatens stronger provisions in NSW.

The union submitted a report clarifying the ways in which state’s regulations could be weakened. Both long distance and inter-urban drivers,  fall under the current NSW regulations,  but only apply to “long distance” trains.

“This proposed wording clearly changes the current NSW arrangement by leaving sufficient ambiguity to argue that inter-urban services are not long distance trains – and therefore not subject to the shift limits that currently apply to those services,” the union’s submission states.

According to the union’s submission, in NSW train drivers are required to have a minimum break of 30 minutes between the third and fifth hours of each shift.

The draft national laws, however, required a “maximum” 30-minute break only to be “scheduled”.

But this has since been changed to “scheduled and taken”.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/union-fears-over-train-driver-fatigue-20121024-284xn.html#ixzz2AYmhxHJA

Fire Crews Face Fatigue Management Issues

Rural firefighters are  suffering from fatigue and dehydration as they operate  rakehoes and chainsaws to control southeast Queensland’s wave of grass and bush fires.

Volunteers are consuming approximately a litre of water every hour in order to keep up pace and creating fire breaks during 12-14 hour shifts.

First responders were replaced by “strike teams” of fire fighters from Stanthorpe and the Sunshine Coast.

Rural Fire Brigade Association president Mike Garrahy predicted some time ago that this would be one of the worst fire seasons in many years. Thus far, his assertions have been all but prophetic.

Residents and Firefighters alike, have been grateful that the temperature has not risen and it hasn’t been drier — however it would be several additional days until the fires are controlled. According to rural operations regional director Peter Varley, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is monitoring the level of fatigue and will be replacing crews when fatigue begins to pose a problem.

“We have a fatigue management plan, but we have a limited amount of volunteers, they do a marvellous job. It’s something that we keep in mind all the time, that we have to keep changing those crews over.”

Mr Garrahy indicated that guidelines were implemented that ordered firefighters to return home for rest after two and half shifts .

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/fire-crews-fight-fatigue-as-they-battle-southeast-queenslands-grass-and-bush-fires/story-e6freoof-1226502721942

Ways to Help Manage Fatigue in the Workplace

News stories continue to emerge regarding  fatigue and how it plagues workplaces throughout Australia.It is this important for employers to know how to identify the signs of workplace fatigue.

Defining Workplace Fatigue

Fatigue is a perpetual state of  tiredness that progresses into  mental or physical exhaustion and inhibits workers from effectively functioning  within practical boundaries. Fatigue is far beyond a simple feeling tiredness and drowsiness, it is a physical condition  often occurs when a person meets their physical or mental limits

Fatigue can result from a variety of work or lifestyle related factors or a combination. Some of the work related factors include:

  • insufficient  breaks
  • extensive time of being awake
  • inadequate recovery time between shifts
  • payment incentives that inadvertently encourage working longer shifts
  • environmental conditions (for example, climate, light, noise, workstation design)
  • type of work being undertaken; whether physical or mentally exhausting work.

Lifestyle-factors can include:

  • lack of quality sleep due as a result of sleeping disorders
  • busy social life
  • personal responsibilities
  • additional employment
  • travel (sometimes work time)
  •  nutrition and diet, exercise, pain, illness

Safe Work Australia’s signs of  worker fatigue

  1. Headaches and/or dizziness
  2. Wandering thoughts, daydreaming, lack of concentration
  3. Blurred vision or difficulty keeping eyes open
  4. Constant yawning, a drowsy relaxed feeling or falling asleep at work
  5. Moodiness such as irritability
  6. Short term memory problems
  7. Low motivation
  8. Hallucinations
  9. Impaired decision-making and judgment
  10. Slow reflexes and responses
  11. Reduced immune system function
  12. Increased errors
  13. Extended sleep during days off work
  14. Falling asleep for a few seconds without realising
  15. Drifting in and out of traffic lanes

Sleep is the only effective long term strategy to prevent and manage fatigue. While tired muscles can recover with rest, the brain can only recover with sleep. The most beneficial sleep is a good night’s sleep taken in a single continuous period.

One sleepless night can be  be equated to someone who has been drinking alcohol, for example:

  • being awake for 17 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.05
  • being awake for 20 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.1

Shift workers (including night work) and fatigue

The body has a natural rhythm that repeats every 24 hours – known as a  ‘body clock’. Our body clock regulates our sleeping patterns, body temperature, hormone levels and digestion.

When the human body clock is interrupted, our alertness suffers which results in feelings of fatigue. This contributes to the risks of making errors and subsequently resulting in accidents and injuries, either in the workplace or travelling to work.

Shift workers are one of the most affected groups of fatigue. Body clock rhythms  have a difficulty in adjusting to shiftwork. In many workplaces shift work, and particularly night work cannot be avoided which increases the need for proactively managed fatigue.

Source: Safe Work Australia draft code of practice on workplace fatigue

SafeWork Attempts to Reduce Worker Fatigue

A new proposal dictates that bosses will have to schedule jobs around the social lives of employees and ensure that staff who yawn or daydream are not too fatigued to continue working safely.

The proposal falls under national health and safety laws that were implemented to improve fatigue management.

Employers are angry that the new laws designates them as the “yawn police” , always on duty  for workplace fatigue.The government agency’s fatigue management checklist includes headaches, daydreaming, constant yawning, low motivation and moodiness. It has reportedly been proposed that bosses ‘eliminate or reduce the need to work extended hours or overtime’ to avoid fatigue dangers.

“If a worker leaves their job tired and exhausted they may be less able to enjoy out of work activities or could be a danger to themselves and others in the community,” the draft code states

The code states that If a worker arrives to work and is deemed unfit to work because of a lack of sleep, illness or other condition, the worker may be less productive and could endanger themselves or others.The report reveals that the the code recommends that employers  train workers in ‘balancing work and personal lifestyle demands’.

Source: http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/10/07/123–Safe-Work-Australia-plan-to-reduce-workplace-fatigue-of-workers.html

Surge of Truck Deaths Prompt “Blame Game”

A surge in serious truck accidents on one of Australia’s busiest transport routes has caused conflict over who is responsible.

The Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne is one of the country’s major supply routes and is now one its most fatal.

Approximately nine trucks have been wrecked on the north-east Victorian stretch in recent weeks – seven within 10 days.

The most recent accident involved a postal truck which  struck a tree and caught fire north of Violet Town The driver did not survive.

Senior Sergeant at Seymour Police Station, Ralph Willingham, believes the problem stems from a lack of resources to combat driver fatigue. WIllingham does not attribute the recent collisions to engineering problems rather, he believes them to be caused by fatigue management issues.  He attributes these issues to the industry being under tough economic pressure to “do more in less time” and believes all signs point to fatigue-related causes.

The Victorian Road Authority, VicRoads, works together with the police to enforce road regulations for Trucks.

David Shelton, the director of road safety at VicRoads, says the latest run of accidents is concerning.

“We are looking at whether we can actually do a more enhanced crash investigation process to better understand the underlying reasons why these crashes are occurring,” he said.

“We’re starting specifically in the north-east, and at the moment we’re at the point of saying what sort of methodology – how would we actually examine this?

Shelton believes in order to combat fatigue everyone needs to work together with transport operators to gather information that only they would be privy to — which would help them to understand the root causes of the problems.

 Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-06/unions-claim-truckies-being-driven-to-death/4299126?section=vic

Fatigue Management:Transport Company Fined $9000

A WA transport company was subject to a $9000 fine  for nine charges pertaining to their  failure in ensuring drivers were on the road between the prescribed hours in order to combat fatigue.

Eight of the charges leveled against Taramore Pty Ltd,  were for breaching regulations set out by Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. These set of regulations states that responsibility is  on employers to effectively manage fatigue and assist drivers by having  efficient systems implemented.

Without a proper system, drivers often exceed the amount of the work time allowed without resting after up to seven consecutive hours.

The last charge placed upon Taramore was for allowing a driver who was not certified fit by a medical practitioner.


The case  was heard in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia on 17 August. In addition to paying the $9000 in fines the company  is now also responsible for paying $11,000 in costs.

Many drivers drivers either worked for the Taramore Pty Ltd  in excess  of 10 hours/twice a week or worked for the company for a total of  over  60 hours in one week.

According to reports, the company did not set up trip schedules and left it to drivers to regulate their own trips. Drivers were expected to record trip sheets and return the paperwork to the company at the end of each shift. The trip sheet indicated that the drivers exceeded the permitted amount of work time as set out by regulations.

WorkSafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch said driver fatigue is a serious risk to the safety of long haul drivers and to the public.

“The importance of the management of fatigue is well known and recognised as a serious risk by the industry. There are real dangers when fatigued transport workers drive and it is disappointing when there are cases like this,” McCulloch said.

More info on Fatigue Management

Source: http://prosecutions.commerce.wa.gov.au/prosecutions/view/1386


Fatigue Management: Truck Driver in Court For Killing Woman

Fatigue Management Training A truck driver has been accused of killing a woman on the South Eastern Freeway and will face the charges in court. The driver is believed to have been driving dangerously and inattentively which led to the death of Linda Carter. Carter was waiting in her car in the emergency lane because of a flat tyre, when a semi-trailer hit her rear.

The car was propelled 140 metres away and the woman received fatal head injuries.

The driver of the truck, Errol Cain reportedly did not realize he had struck the vehicle until he had exited his truck.Prosecutor Peter Longson alleges that Cain was significantly fatigued which resulted in him being inattentive.  This is the second time the jury has heard this case.

Defense attorney Joana Fuller said a key issue was whether Cain reasonably believed he could safely operate a vehicle.The jury traveled to Adelaide hills to view the scene of the accident.

The investigation and trial continues. Currently, there has been no mention of Cain’s employer suffering any consequences in the event he was fatigued due to a negligent safety and fatigue standards.

More info on Fatigue Management

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-18/freeway-fatal-truck-smash-errol-cain/4137614?section=sa  

Is Better Fatigue Management Needed For Paramedics?

Fatigue management trainingRecent lapses in procedure have resulted in the Ambulance union declaring that mistakes made by paramedics were the direct result of fatigue. Shortly before this declaration, it was revealed that a 62-year-old woman collapsed from what appeared to be a heartattack. Paramedics arrive at the scene and immediately tried to revive. After 27 minutes, the paramedics gave up and declared the woman dead—then six minutes later the woman woke up. The woman’s heart had never infact started but the allegedly fatigued paramedics did not notice any abnormalities.

A leaked Ambulance Victoria report revealed that paramedics have had fatigue level readings that are equal to twice the blood/alcohol limit. The secretive report quoted paramedics who stated their concerns for the safety of patients and the level of alcohol that many consume to avoid work.The confidential report is almost 3 years old now but little changes have been made to deal with the fatigue levels of ambulance workers, according to the Ambulance Employees Australia union.

State secretary Steve McGhie is concerned that fatigue may be causing incidents such as the one involving the 62-year-old woman.McGhie said he would consider legal action if any of his injuries were the victim of shoddy Fatigue Management

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fatigued-paramedics-fear-for-safety-of-patients-20120628-215g8.html#ixzz1zbUkvWsZ

The PeaceFul Place Program:Relieving After Work Stress

Occupational health and SafetyJust imagine – in just ten minutes a day you could calm your mind, get rid of stress, get rid of negativity, make it easier to do what needs to be done to meet your needs and solve your problems. The Peaceful Place meditation technique in the book “Your Peaceful Place” which comes with two audio cd’s is a way that busy people can do all this and more.

Your Peaceful Place is a special place you can create inside your mind, where you are always at peace and relaxed. A place you can get back to easily and in the process of getting there, you automatically relax and let go any stress and anxiety.

Once you have practiced this simple meditation technique every day for a month,you can relax in three or even one minute. This is important because it means that, whenever you feel stressed, before a difficult meeting, before you go to the dentist, before studying, before doing exams, before a job interview, before you go on a date, you can go to your Peaceful Place just briefly, settle your mind and body and then any stressful occasion can be handled calmly.

Your Peaceful Place, co- written by Laurence Toltz and veteran trainer Sandy MacGregor, describes Sandy’s easy to learn, easy to do, self-talk meditation technique for busy people, and isn’t everyone busy these days?


STAGE ONE: Building Your Peaceful Place and learning the Peaceful Place meditation technique:

The meditation technique can be learned from chapters one and two of the book and CD1 or just by listening to tracks one to four on CD1.

Stage One Benefits

1. A simple meditation technique that helps you relax quickly, let go of stress and achieve peace of mind

2. Less stressed people get on better with those around them, be they a partner, family or work mates.

3. Most people report going to their Peaceful Place just before or after they go to bed makes it easier to go to sleep. The major advantage of this meditation technique is that it is simple, people like it, they feel happy and relaxed while in their Peaceful Place. They can move from a stressed state to a peaceful one in minutes.A busy doctor who now uses the Peaceful Place System, comments that previously, after a day in the surgery, he was so stressed that when he got home he was too stressed to even play with his kids or help his wife until he went to his study and downed two scotches to help him relax. After a few weeks of going to his Peaceful Place for one to two minutes  between patients, he now arrives home fresh and ready to play with his children and be a part of the family.

STAGE TWO: Your Peaceful Place is also the place where by following a simple four step system, you make it easier to meet your needs, solve a wide range of problems and achieve your goals.

Changing long established habits of thinking and behaviour is very difficult for most people. The Peaceful Place System helps people break through whatever is holding them back and motivates them to make the changes they need in their lives.

Please visit the website yourpeacefulplace.com.au.On the home page, press the play button to listen to co-author Laurence Toltz being interviewed about YOUR PEACEFUL PLACE by Radio National’s Rachel Kohn, on her program The Spirit of Things. Questions and Answers about the book begin about 45 seconds into the interview. There is a link to Chapter One of Your Peaceful Place on the home page.



Judith’s Story

Judith had been nervous and overwhelmed both in her personal and business life. “I felt I was living in a thick cloud. With a busy job I had trouble going to my Peaceful Place during the day, but I practiced it every night after going to bed and I now sleep better than I have for many years. I often need to get up in the middle of the night to look after my young daughter, and, when I get back into bed I go to my Peaceful Place and I can get back to sleep really quickly.”

The real plus for Judith was, that after practicing the Peaceful Place system for four weeks,  Judith began to feel more in control and the overwhelmed feeling she had lived with for so many years lifted and she was able to prioritise and see key issues in her life more clearly and objectively.“You look at things differently after using the Peaceful Place process. I am more self aware and have had a breakthrough at work. Overall the process helped me get rid of the feelings of being ‘out of control’ and ‘overwhelmed’ and I now know I’m in control of my life instead of the other way around.

Betty’s Story

Betty who had been ill, was six months down her healing journey when she discovered Sandy’s Peaceful Place system and how she could take control and make a huge impact on her recovery. “The techniques gave me the tools to help myself in all parts of my life. It is only now I have realized I don’t even think about going to my Peaceful Place, I automatically do it “I go to my Peaceful Place while waiting for appointments, prior to encountering new situations, making important telephone calls, to remain centred and be able to see situations as they are and not become caught up in the emotion of the event.

I also go to my Peaceful Place prior to meditation, prayer and any activity requiring total concentration. I go there every chance I have to just sit, and every night before going to sleep. Now I do it automatically — it doesn’t seem to take much of my time but it has maximized my body’s natural healing energies and has had an enormous impact on my coping skills, energy levels and my health and well-being. It is a major factor in me being as well as I am today.

Also See: Fatigue Management 

Fatigue Management: The High Cost of Overworking

The annual cost of overworking and stress is exceeding $30 billion, which is half of the entire workplace compensation payout.Both Physical and psychological stress have trumped other types of injury and illness. The long term effects have proven to lead to a loss in productivity and a financial toll that workers and the community are forced to pay.

A thorough study of workplace deaths and injuries revealed a cost of $60.6 billion annually.The report concluded that the number of workplace deaths had fallen in 2009-2010 during the global financial crisis. Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten will campaign to encourage workers to speak up about safety and call for annual monitoring by Parliament.

Safe Work Australia’s study revealed that when “body stressing” and “mental stress” is a dangerous combination that leads to half of the injuries in the workplace.The data did not show a link between long hours and injury but the report did reveal that more than one-third of the cases and total economic costs are connected to body stressing and manual labour.

The report also showed that one-third of employees stated that “burnout” is a reason for them to take sick leave when they aren’t actually sick.

Why does it feel like I am “burning out” ?

“Burning out”  from overworking is simply another form of fatigue. It is important to get fatigue management training in order to avoid getting fed up and subsequently allowing the quality of your work and your safety to lapse.  It is hard for once to detect if they are suffering from fatigue and it is even more difficult to tell when your fatigue has reached to a level where it is no longer safe for you to work.

Fatigue systems can be broken up into three categories; physical,mental, and emotional. Some physical symptoms; include yawning, eye rubbing,  and microsleeps. If you are suffering from mental fatigue you may find your self having a difficult time concentrating and paying attention to some things. Also, you may have difficulty remembering the task at hand, or find your self making frequent mistakes in the workplace.

Finally, emotional fatigue is a common but sometimes overlooked type of fatigue. Symptoms of emotional fatigue can be perceived as “burning out”. Often times an emotionally fatigued individual will find themselves being more quiet or introverted than usual. An emotionally fatigued person will notice a loss of energy,  loss of motivation and a lack of drive.


Fatigue Management: Know The Warning Signs and Risks of Fatigue!

Fatigue management trainingAccording to WorkSafe’s website, there are various causes of fatigue in the workplace.


Fatigue can be caused by extended periods of physical or mental exercise,without adequate time to rest and recover. A worker’s level of fatigue can vary but it usually depends on the following elements:


  • A heavy workload;
  • Frequent long shifts
  • Previous hours and days worked; and
  • Time of day or night worked.
  • Fatigue is often associated with the following:
  • Spending extended periods of time awake
  • Obtaining an inadequate amount of sleep over an extended period; and
  • Obtaining a scarce quality of sleep over an extended period.


Fatigue can cause a person to function irregularly while also lowering performance and productivity. A lack of sleep can greatly increase the risk for potential incidents and injuries to occur.

The only long term method of treating and preventing fatigue is through adequate amounts of sleep. The average person needs about 8 hours of sleep a day, but after consecutive nights without sleep, the worker will develop “sleep debt”. Sleep debt greatly increases the levels of fatigue.

The causes of sleep loss can include a number of factors in the workplace. Firstly, extended work hours can cause workplace fatigue. Other factors such as; irregular and unpredictable work, Shift work, stress, and working more than one job; can all cause fatigue.

Long hours and shift work can disrupt the bodies sleeping patters which can lead to fatigue. Shift workers appear to get less sleep than those who operate under normal working hours. This is often because the sleep during the day is of less quality due to various factors such as daylight, traffic and disruptive noise.

Having a high level of fatigue can lead to accidents and injuries.

Fatigue can affect one’s ability to think clearly since people who are fatigued are unable to gauge their level of impairment. The level of performance appears to deteriorate as work becomes more strenuous and long, and sleep loss increases.

Fatigue affects the ability to think clearly. As a result, people who are fatigued are unable to gauge their own level of impairment, and are unaware that they are not functioning as well or as safely as they would be if they were not excessively tired.

Some of the effects associated with fatigue are

  • Reduced hand-eye coordination;
  • Reduced visual perception;
  • Reduced vigilance;
  • Reduced capacity to judge risk; and
  • Slower reaction times.

A hindrance on any of these abilities can result in a catastrophic and fatal injury .This is of significant concern to workers who operate heavy machinery (including driving) and performing critical tasks.

A lack of fatigue management training can result in asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and numerous other ailments or injuries.

Source: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/subjects/fatigue/about/index.htm


Fatigue Management: Truckers Won’t Have to Break Rules To Get By

fatigue management trainingTruckers will no longer feel as compelled to exceed or disregard the work safety limits  since the Federal Government has pledged to introduce a plan that would increase the driver’s wages and decrease their death toll.

Earlier in the week, a survey was released indicating that many truck drivers felt like they needed to speed, overload their trucks, or take drugs in order to stay awake for long hours. The survey said many of them believed that the only way they could make ends meet was by breaking the OHS regulations.

A tribunal has been set to unveil binding pay and conditions for truck drivers by July 2012.  The tribunal is set to include  members from Fair Work Australia and health and safety experts.

Drivers indicated on the aforementioned survey, that they felt pressure to break fatigue management regulations. A quarter of them stated that they drove too fast in order to meet deadlines.Trucking accidents cost $2.7 Billion last year in federal funds. The government believes that the changes would make the roads much safer. This new initiative will be rewarded for the reasonable work that they do, but that there would no longer be any financial incentive to break OHS regulations.


National Trucking Regulator Introduced

occupational health and safety training Interstate drivers ought to see less convoluted regulations with the coming formation of a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.Legislators for Queensland had indicated that by 2013, the regulatory body will be solely responsible for managing unified vehicle laws in all states except Western Australia.

The establishment of the regulator was issued this week, other states are projected to follow in within the coming months.

This new trucking regulator will mean that truck drivers will no longer be forced to adhere to different rules throughout different states. Vehicle Configuration,driver behaviour, and fatigue management will all be regulated by the NHHVR.

Peter Garske, CEO of the Queensland Transport Association stated that the new regulator would mean a more profitable industry

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201111/s3368754.htm


Stressful Jobs Carry Financial Toll

fatigue management training  Throughout the past 2 years workers at the forefront of the ACT’s most hazardous and high-pressure professions have received a million dollars in recompense because of the stress they experience at their jobs. The Emergency Service Agency –which supervises firefighters and ambulance staff, as well as the State Emergency Service which is mostly volunteers – said one of its workers was on mental health leave for 138 weeks.

ACT Policing stated that $434,304 was rewarded to staff in the last two fiscal years in stress leave compensation.Throughout the last two fiscal years the territory’s firefighters have been granted $492,130 while ambulance staff has not been rewarded any stress payments.

Eight staff members at the ACT Health Directorate,  have filed claims for ”adjustment disorder”, the directorate said. This year, three claims have been acknowledged and $41,887 remunerated. Hospital nurse and University of Canberra assistant professor Jamie Ranse stated that a number of urgent incidents often caused the most stress. Stress can lead to fatigue management problems.

Mr Ranse, 31, also indicated that situations that remind nurses of their own mortality or susceptibility to illnesses, can cause stress.Employees who are parents, see children being brought in to the hospital, which can also be stressful.

Ranse said after big situations ‘debriefing’ sessions are conducted.Ranse continued by mentioning that some people have different ways of coping and thus ‘debriefing’ sessions may not be beneficial to them.All the agencies claimed that workers who find themselves under immense stress have access to confidential counselling as well as programs aimed at teaching stress management .

Source: canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/stressful-jobs-prove-costly/2348202.aspx

Fatigue Management Training- Don’t Sleep On It.

When one considers the level of workplace accidents caused by fatigue, it is surprising that Fatigue Management training is not mandatory for a variety of professions. If you work in the transport industry, a factory, or in healthcare; obtaining fatigue management training is an important factor in avoiding serious injury to you or others. Fatigue Management is not just important in the aforementioned industries either; fatigue is a major safety concern throughout a multitude of industries, if not all.

Fatigue is a Physiological Condition

Fatigue is commonly referred to as the physiological condition caused by a lack of (or problems with) sleep, long hours of exertion, and stress. Thus, if you are a truck driver in Australia, and it’s not uncommon for you to drive for 14+ hours for consecutive trips; then you may be at risk of fatigue. Fatigue in the transport industry can obviously lead to disasters that can cost innocent lives. Those mere two seconds you accidentally close your eyes on your drive from Melbourne to Walla Walla, could result in a tragic loss of life. If you work in the healthcare industry, falling asleep on the job, could mean that a patient misses out on treatment that could possibly save their life!

Now that Fatigue Management training is offered online, there are very few reasons why you wouldn’t enrol in the training program. Spare time is rare- you’re constantly working shifts, going on long drives, and getting very little sleep. However, since the training is offered online, you can do it at your own convenience, so you can become educated and certified without feeling the pressure of having to fit ‘everything’ into your day. Let’s face it, after working a 12 hour shift, 24 hours just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day.

Fatigue Management Training

Fatigue Management training is a great way to help avoid becoming a car-accident statistic; it will help you avoid making a mistake you could regret for the rest of your life. Though it may seem like a daunting prospect, it is not impossible to find a balance. Fatigue Management Training will help ensure that you find that balance.

Don’t sleep on your decision to get training now, because for as long as you put it off, more stress will continue to pile up. Don’t wait until it’s too late, fatigue is one of the leading causes of work place accidents for a reason—people do not make it a priority. Your safety and the Safety of others should be TOP priority. Staying safe isn’t something you can get tired of.

2.2 million Australians over-working; risking fatigue

Fatigue Management TrainingAccording to data compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 21 percent (2.2 million) are working more hours than they should be ( on average 46.9 hours a week).  Of these over-workers, majority is likely to be males between the ages 35-64, who have high-income professions such as lawyers or doctors. Over- working can often lead to fatigue

This is a contrast to the 1.4 million workers, or 14 percent of the workforce, who desire more hours at work.  Being over-employed seems to correlate with age, since it appears the likelihood seems to increase as one gets older.

26 percent of male workers, who had children, desired to work less hours, while 19 percent of women with children, desired to work less.

53 percent of over-employed workers were more likely to desire less hours of work because of family concerns, while almost a quarter wanted less hours for work and recreation.The report also states that the number of work related deaths rose in 2008-2009, however the number of occupational health and safety deaths have fallen since.

Working long hours can often times lead to fatigue, and subsequently fatigue related injuries and deaths, thus companies have had their employees enroll in Fatigue Management training.

Source : http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/overworked-australians-yearn-for-a-social-life/story-fn59niix-1226084465841

Nearly 25% of workers at a plant risk fatigue

Fatigue Training courses are availableNearly twenty-five percent of workers at Adelaide’s desalination plant are at a high risk of fatigue, while nearly two-fifths of workers are at a moderate risk.

The union representative said that the workers are subjected to lengthy hours of work, occupational bullying, and stress. The project is allegedly huge and it has enormous amounts of pressure behind.

Many workers were apparently often found to be working upwards to seventy hours a week.  Long hours coupled with workplace bullying is apparently the major cause of stress at the plant.

A report found that nearly forty percent of six hundred surveyed workers were found to be at moderate risk of lack of sleep and fatigue.

The Adelaide Aqua SA Water and construction union compiled the report.

Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/desal-plant-workers-under-stress/comments-e6frea83-1226085169793

Fatigue Management needed at Jetstar?

jetstar fatigue managementWow the papers are all a buzz today with the ‘princesses’ emails circulated by management. Classic example of where fatigue management is not being taken seriously by some senior management. The letters border on workplace harassment and bullying. Read the following article from the Herald Sun – very interesting.

ONE of Australia’s most experienced pilots has defended his Jetstar colleagues, branded “princesses” in an email from a supervisor.

Qantas A380 pilot Captain Richard Woodward, who is also the vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, said that concerns about fatigue were serious.

He said research showed pilots who were tired caused problems, and changes were needed to ensure that pilots were more alert and to improve passenger safety.

“That doesn’t mean there was an accident in the waiting, but it did mean the crew were tired and making mistakes,” he said.

“We are working with the airline to try to introduce a proper risk-management system,” Capt Woodward said.

The Jetstar pilots were sent an email ordering them to “toughen up, princesses” from a pilot manager after colleagues complained about being tired after flights between Perth and Singapore.

AlertForce are the experts in Fatigue Management Training. The road transport industry has been grilled since 2008 and before, it may be now time that aviation comes under similar scrutiny. You look at our fatigue management courses here.

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:


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.


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.


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.

Basic fatigue management – some sleep tips for on the road

If you work in the transport industry, you may need to complete your basic fatigue management training. Fatigue management training courses provide drivers with the knowledge required to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

Here are some strategies to assist you as a driver in fatigue management.

  1. Find a quiet truck bay or rest stop
  2. Use dark curtains and liners to keep out light in the vehicle cabin.
  3. Make sure your sleeping berth is well ventilated.
  4. Take eye shades and earplugs with you.
  5. Turn off your mobile phone and radios.
  6. Take time to change out of your work clothes as you would at home.
  7. Drink plenty of water.
  8. If using a motel, rent one away from the highway and railway lines to reduce noise transference.
  9. Have a cool cabin to sleep in or an air conditioned room.

Working long hours will make you fatigued in several ways:

  1. It stops you resting and sleeping.
  2. It may have you on the road in the early morning when the body clock turns alertness down.
  3. It may make you bored and drowsy.

As you can see fatigue management is an important skill for drivers. Many drivers are required to complete a basic fatigue management course to ensure they are compliant with the current transport laws. Fortunately, can be completed online.

Basic fatigue management guidelines for sleep

Whether you are an owner, driver or transport business, a fatigue management course is the best way to meet your Chain of Responsibility and Fatigue Management requirements. Basic fatigue management will equip you with useful information to help you both professionally and personally. As a professional driver, you will be at your best, most alert and safest when working during the morning, the late afternoon and the early evening.  You will be at your worst performance level between 1am and 6 am when the body clock turns your body actions and alertness levels down.

Drivers who got less than 6 hours sleep in 24 hours experienced 4 times as many dangerous situations while they were driving.  Getting enough quality sleep is essential to your safety; and you should aim to get 7 ½ continuous hours of sleep where possible.

Transport delivery schedules must take sleep breaks into account as part of.  The trip plan or schedule must include adequate time for 7 hours sleep and time for the driver’s other essential activities.

If you are driving and getting little or no sleep at night, you are going to have to make up for it during the day.  During the day, your body clock will turn your alertness up resulting in a poorer quality of sleep.

Try to get as much sleep as possible at night, and take another nap during the afternoon siesta period if necessary to improve your level of sleep.

Taking naps at every opportunity can helps to compensate for those nights when you don’t get enough sleep.  Remember naps are not a substitute for 7 ½ hours of continuous sleep at night.

To get a good benefit from a nap you will need to achieve a period of 15 to 20 minutes duration.  A longer nap period of 30 to 40 minutes is even better when possible.  In some instances a 5 minute nap is of benefit although not really long enough.


If you get less than 7 ½ hours sleep each night you will build up a ‘sleep debt’.  Each day you go with less than 7 ½ hours sleep, the more fatigued you will be and the more unsafe you will become on the highway.

Take every opportunity available on your days off to have a good long night of sleep.  Before your next long trip ensure that you have fully repaid your “sleep debt” from the previous trip or trips.


If you have trouble getting good quality sleep, here are some tips:

  • Try to setup your bedroom at home or wherever you sleep to be as comfortable as possible, so that you can sleep better.
  • Find the best room temperature to get to sleep.  It is most likely to be between 18 and 22°C and can be achieved by an air conditioner.
  • Turn down the volume of the ring tone on your phone or turn it off.  Wear earplugs to reduce noise and ask the family to be extra quiet when you are sleeping.
  • Hang extra thick curtains over the windows to reduce light coming into your room and wear eye shades or patches as another strategy.

There may be other things that you can do which is unique to your sleep patterns or sleeping environment. Online fatigue management courses are probably the best way to complete your fatigue management training.

Basic fatigue management training

Heavy vehicle drivers are the most affected by fatigue related cases. (more…)

Fatigue Management in Practice

Fatigue, if not properly managed, can lead to serious problems.  Symptoms that result from fatigue include (more…)

Learning Fatigue Management

It has been noted that driver fatigue ranks among one of the leading concerns for road safety. This means that all drivers who are constantly driving trucks and other vehicles on major highways need one course or another to enable them learn how to manage fatigue while they are on the job.

This is the reason why there are online fatigue management schools from which drivers can take an appropriate and relevant fatigue management course. Under such a course, three main categories will be dealt with. These categories include standard hours, basic fatigue management and advanced fatigue management. It is important that drivers understand all categories since it is only then when they will effectively be equipped to deal with fatigue and reduce its adverse effects.

Truck drivers potentially become drowsy and discover that they have drifted into a micro- sleep. This is very risky since maximum attention is required on the road at all times even if there are no other vehicles apart from yours.

It is risks such as this that have made it important for truck drivers and other professionals who are constantly on the road to learn fatigue management. This is the only way they can be sure of themselves. The fatigue management courses they will undertake will enable them to get a better idea of how to reduce and eliminate altogether the risks of fatigue. Online fatigue management courses are often the easiest way to receive fatigue management training.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of any fatigue management course. This is the main reason why various legislations are now being passed to compel all truck drivers to take these courses. Needless to say, anyone would agree with such legislations since they will help to make our roads safer and to make the work environment more conducive and secure for truck drivers.

Why do we need Fatigue Management for industry?

We have defined fatigue as ‘loss of alertness, drowsy driving and falling sleep at the wheel’. It is certainly all of these things and more. (more…)

How to improve your fatigue management?


We have defined fatigue as ‘loss of alertness, drowsy driving and falling sleep at the wheel’. It is certainly all of these things and more. (more…)

Fatigue Management Training for 4.5 tonnes and above

A National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, responsible for regulating all vehicles in Australia over 4.5 tonnes will become operational on 1 January 2013. (more…)

Australia calls for input on changes to trucker fatigue management reforms

Minor legislative changes to the hours of work and rest within the Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue reforms may be warranted, according to a discussion paper released for public consultation today by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

The Improving the basic fatigue management option discussion paper, explores whether amendments should be made to the reform requirements for split rests, the 14 day cycle and early starts contained within the Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) option.

Under the fatigue reforms, accredited operators who have undertaken comprehensive fatigue management training and put appropriate risk management systems into place are able to opt to schedule hours of work and rest that allow more flexibility in their work schedule, which potentially introduces increased risk through less restrictions on work hours. This is known as the BFM option.

“Any change to the agreed national heavy vehicle fatigue laws, even a minor change, has the potential to significantly impact road safety for drivers and the community and must therefore be carefully considered.”

“One of the key issues we have been exploring is whether drivers should be allowed to split their seven hour break into two blocks, even if it means the two blocks sum to a period exceeding seven hours.”

Under the current fatigue reforms, a long break of seven hours is required in any 24 hours.

“We have also explored whether a driver should be able to work more than seven days in a row if risk is adequately managed and whether the night rest period for drivers should be adjusted so it does not restrict drivers going to bed early and starting work early on a consistent basis.

Under the fatigue reforms, the BFM option requires a 24 hour rest in seven days and a night rest period of between 10pm to 8am.

Online basic fatigue management courses are readily available and easy to complete.

Courtesy: The Gov Monitor

Fatigue management – know your body clock

Have you ever wondered why you feel drowsy during certain times of the day, even though you may have gotten good sleep at night? That’s quite normal. Why? Because of circadian rhythms – in other words, your body clock. (more…)

About fatigue management training

All heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) over 12 tonnes and buses with 12 seats (9 in NSW) will need to comply with fatigue management legislation. Under OH&S legislation employers have a duty of care responsibility to provide a safe workplace and safe systems of work and employees must be mentally and physically fit for work and work in a safe and responsible manner. (more…)

AlertForce: Fatigue management training online

Fatigue and falling asleep are serious safety risks. If you are fatigued, your performance may become impaired. Your response times in critical situations may become slower. And your ability to get to and from work safely may be compromised.

Fatigue management training can help you avoid accidents and get home safely. (more…)

Fatigue Management – General Awareness Training

You may wonder why bosses taking the time to address a personal health issue like fatigue. Fatigue is a technical term for feeling tired, drowsy or sleepy. Fatigue and falling asleep are serious safety risks. (more…)

An introduction to fatigue management strategies

Driver fatigue is a major safety hazard for all drivers on the highway.  Fatigue related crashes tend to be severe and with little or no braking or avoidance action prior to the accident. (more…)

Indian Aviation Fatigue Laws in Review

MUMBAI: While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for flight attendants to check on pilots during lean-activity periods in the cockpit to prevent the flying crew from falling asleep at the controls, the country’s aviation regulator is yet to issue scientifically backed pilot rest rules despite the rising instances of fatigue-related air crashes the world over. (more…)

Fatigue Management Expert Joins NTSB

With the swearing in of Mark Rosekind and Earl Weener as members of the NTSB on June 30, the investigative body reached its full complement of five for the first time since President Obama took office in January 2009.

Rosekind is an internationally recognized fatigue expert who has conducted research and implemented programs in diverse settings, including all modes of transportation, health care, law enforcement, elite athletes and military groups. (more…)

Online fatigue management courses

There are many reasons one could suffer from fatigue. This is however more often experienced by those who are working in certain industries. (more…)

New aviation safety measures to include fatigue management plan

WASHINGTON — Congress is getting ready to pass tough new aviation safety measures that were developed in response to a deadly commuter plane crash in western New York in early 2009, a key lawmaker said Wednesday. (more…)

NTC backs WA on fatigue management

The National Transport Commission has backed Western Australia’s stance on national regulations, saying a blanket model will not work when it comes to reforming cross-border differences.The Transport Forum WA recently vowed to oppose any attempt by governments to alter the state’s fatigue management scheme to align it with other jurisdictions.

During a recent meeting with the Forum and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association, NTC Chairman Greg Martin told the groups there would be “no disadvantage to any jurisdiction” and “one size does not fit all”.

Fatigue Management law in 2013: NT

Fatigue management law in the Northern Territory will not be introduced until the national heavy vehicle regulator starts in 2013.

The Department of Lands and Planning was due to introduce the law last financial year but decided to hold fire until all jurisdictions move to national regulations. (more…)

Why You Should Not Eat in Your Car

An excellent reason why you should not eat in your car.

Computer Stress Syndrome Becoming Common

A news clip, on a new modern stress  called Computer Stress Syndrome.

Fatigue Management and Chain of Responsibilities being updated with new Electronic Work Diaries

The Minister of Assisting the Minister for Transport and Roads David Borger has been consulting with the heavy vehicle industry to pilot electronic work diaries for heavy vehicles. (more…)

Truckies being charged on F3 Debacle for not taking breaks

The F3 debacle on the 12 of April has left more than a few motorists fuming. During the 12 hour pile up truck and taxi drivers were fined for not taking their necessary breaks. There has been heavy criticism on the way authorities have handled the situation and the usefulness of the 28  million dollars in the infrastructure has been. Instead of assisting motorists, police have taken to the steps to stop smokers from consuming cigarettes in their cars.

Despite RTA investigations on previous accidents and similar occurrences NSW Road Minster David Campbell could not promise that the gridlock would never happen again. Since the incident the RTA has been swamped with complaints, so much so that NSW online newspapers have been offering links for direct complaints and organized an infringement notice to fine David Campbell, who did not take the public outcry seriously.  Some motorists have been able to keep their sense of humor Devils Advocate of Seven Hills said : “Whoever was in charge of that operation should be out looking for work today. They missed the opportunity to book all those stranded motorists for illegal parking.”

Courtsey of news.com.au and dailtelegraph.com.au

Dangerous Goods by Sea and Fatigue Create Controversy

There has been a great deal of controversy since the Shen Neng 1 hit the Douglas Shoal last Saturday. (more…)

Do you need fatigue management? A truck driver now under investigation because he pushed a car along the highway.

A UK truck driver is now under investigation after a video was put up on youtube where the driver was pushing a car, unaware along the highway.

Make an Enquiry: