NHVR stands by livestock transport fatigue scheme


Agency says it is disappointed by criticism of the fatigue management scheme for livestock transporters.

NHVR stands by livestock transport fatigue scheme
NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey.

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has stood by the fatigue management scheme for livestock transporters in the wake of criticism from one of the country’s top fatigue experts.

Professor Ann Williamson recently expressed dissatisfaction with the scheme, claiming it permitted drivers to work too long and did not include enough measures to ensure they received adequate rest.

Those accredited in the scheme can work up to 14 hours a day for 11 days straight and must have a minimum rest of 10 consecutive hours if they work 14 hours in a 24-hour period.

NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey says the group considered advice from fatigue management experts during the development of the scheme.

"The livestock transport fatigue management scheme was created after a lengthy and robust discussion with industry and fatigue experts," Casey says.

"Livestock transporters wanted more flexibility to respond to the complex and unique nature of the livestock transport task. The NHVR worked with industry and fatigue experts to balance that flexibility with additional controls that would manage the fatigue risk.

"By using the templates provided in the scheme, livestock transporters have a greater awareness of the risks associated with what they are asking their drivers to do and the need to ensure they have policies and procedures in place to safely manage those risks."

Casey says those wanting to use the scheme still need to gain advanced fatigue management (AFM) accreditation and show they have effective systems in place to manage fatigue.

"While the livestock transport fatigue management scheme makes applying for AFM easier, each application is still assessed on its merits and will only be approved once the NHVR is satisfied that the fatigue risk has been suitably managed," Casey says.

The fatigue management scheme has received strong support from the trucking industry, most notably the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland (LRTAQ).

 

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