Facing fatigue

By: Amie Hickland


The NHVR is helping bus operators gain AFM accreditation with a series of forums

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is holding a series of forums around Australia to help combat fatigue in heavy vehicle operations.

Earlier this year, the NHVR commenced the national program of information forums, with the first three sessions held in regional Victoria – Warrnambool, Caroline Springs and Traralgon.

The first three Victorian regional forums attracted 57 attendees, representing a broad cross section of industry including drivers, small- and medium-sized operators, technology providers, auditors and fatigue management consultants. 

NHVR chief executive Sal Petroccitto says the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law in 2014 simplified Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) accreditation by removing prescriptive limits and costly requirements for expert opinion on an operator’s proposed fatigue management system. 

"The NHVR is providing industry more information about the benefits of Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) including safety improvements and productivity gains," he says.

"The forums also offer operators an opportunity for one-on-one consultation with NHVR staff about integrating AFM into their business."

Petroccitto says the NHVR is working closely with industry to ensure that operators and drivers understand their obligations under the national law and to highlight the benefits AFM can deliver for their business, without compromising safety.

"Fatigue impairment poses a significant risk to public and driver safety in transport," he says.

"Integrating the AFM safety systems into business operations is one way an operator can help keep drivers safe, while also benefiting from more flexible roster arrangements and more satisfied drivers who are in control of their work/rest hours."

Petroccitto says the NHVR has worked with several bus operators to help them gain AFM accreditation, which allows them to better manage night and emergency work.

AFM allows an operator to develop their own fatigue management framework, as long as they understand the fatigue risks created by those rules and can demonstrate they have procedures and systems in place to safely manage those risks.

"Under AFM accreditation, bus operators can access more flexible rostering arrangements to suit their particular operations," says Petroccitto.

The NHVR will hold more forums in Victoria, along with dates for Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.

The feedback on the forums has been so far been positive and will be soon published on the NHVR website for those unable to attend the forums.

Operators interested in applying for AFM should contact the NHVR first to understand what is required to gain AFM accreditation.

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