Fatigue flexibility endorsement in NHVR survey


Feedback shows operators reap the benefits under AFM system

Fatigue flexibility endorsement in NHVR survey
Andreas Blahous

 

Operators using Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) experience fewer fatigue-related incidents, an improved safety culture and higher productivity, according to a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) survey.

The survey of 40 operators strengthens the case for the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to allow for increased flexibility when effective fatigue management systems are in place. 

These findings demonstrate the benefits of a modern approach to fatigue that better manages fatigue risk, rather than acurrent prescriptive ‘one size fits all’ approach, NHVR principal safety assurance advisor Andreas Blahous says.

"The study demonstrates the significant benefits of AFM and a more flexible fatigue management framework for both safety and productivity," he says.

"One of the most encouraging findings from the study was that businesses operating under AFM reported no fatal, serious or minor/property damage incidents attributable to heavy vehicle driver fatigue in the past 12 months.

"In addition to these results, the compliance data from on-road operations also shows that drivers working under AFM had the highest level of compliance of any work and rest option."


The personal use exemption recently extended to AFM and BFM


Safety assurance advisor fatigue Dr Bevan Rowland conducted the study for the regulator.

The results are said to demonstrate that flexibility in fatigue rules leads to an improved safety focus within heavy vehicle businesses.

"Businesses operating under AFM demonstrated a strong safety culture – with the majority of AFM participants recording the highest levels of safety leadership, engagement, responsibility and resilience," Rowland says.

"Through understanding their own safety culture businesses are more able to engage in cultural change in manageable and measurable steps.

"The flexibility offered by AFM encourages discussions about safety and the results show that those companies that are visible in the workplace discussing safety issues are more likely to develop trust and receive meaningful engagement from staff on safety."

Blahous adds that, on the back of the study, the NHVR will continue to seek changes to the AFM application process to make it more accessible for more operators.

"Through the study we collected feedback on the application process and participants offered several suggestions on how the NHVR could better support industry needs," he says.

"We are committed to working with industry to further improve access to AFM accreditation. We want to support operators to access the productivity and safety benefits that come from participating in AFM."

 

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