The NHVR’s seven fatigue management standards – and what they mean

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in Australia has established seven stringent fatigue management standards to ensure the safety of road transport operations.

Compliance with these standards is not only a legal requirement but also crucial for safeguarding the wellbeing of drivers and the general public.

Here at Hubfleet, we’ve partnered with Glyn Castanelli, who is an NHVR approved auditor from Transport Health and Safety, to delve into the seven fatigue management standards established by the NHVR. Our goal is to provide insight into what these standards mean and how transport companies can implement practical systems to fulfill their obligations under the National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL).

We will also explore the role of auditors like Transport Health and Safety and digital systems, such as Hubfleet, to assist transport companies meet NHVR standards and maintain a high level of safety in their operations.

Understanding Standard 3: The core requirements

Standard 3 dictates that all personnel involved in your fatigue management system – or FMS – must possess the knowledge and skills to effectively manage fatigue. This encompasses everyone including management, administration, supervisors, schedulers, and drivers.

The standard outlines key criteria your company must address:

• Documented training needs: You need a documented plan outlining the specific training required for each personnel category based on their role and responsibilities within the FMS.

• Minimum training standards: Ensure training covers fatigue management principles and their application in the heavy vehicle industry.

• Training must be undertaken through one of the NHVAS-approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

• Manager, administrator, supervisor, and scheduler training: Equip them with the skills to identify and address fatigue in drivers, monitor compliance, and support recovery and treatment.

• All employees involved in the management, administration, supervision, and scheduling of drivers within the FMS must complete the training unit TLIF0006 Administer a fatigue risk management system.

• Driver training: Drivers need to understand fatigue risks, their personal fatigue warning signs, and effective fatigue management strategies.

• All drivers working within the FMS must complete the training unit TLIF0005 Apply a fatigue risk-based system.

• Ongoing training and updates: Regularly refresh knowledge and address changes in regulations or industry best practices.

Putting it into practice: Steps to implement Standard 3

Glyn Castanelli has spent the best part of 30 years in the heavy vehicle transport industry in many roles, including as a driver, owner driver, compliance officer, operations manager, and as a NHVR accredited auditor at Transport Health and Safety.  Glyn is also president of the National Road Freighters Association. To put the Standard 3 into practice, he recommends the following steps.

1. Conduct a training needs analysis: Identify the roles and responsibilities within your FMS and assess their current fatigue management knowledge and skills.

2. Develop a training plan: Based on the needs analysis, create a documented plan outlining who needs what training, when, and how. Consider factors like training frequency, delivery methods (online, face-to-face), and record-keeping procedures.

3. Source and deliver training: Choose accredited training providers or develop your own programs ensuring they meet the minimum standards and address your specific needs. Consider industry resources like National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) or WorkSafe WA for guidance.

4. Monitor and evaluate: Track training completion, measure its effectiveness, and identify areas for improvement.

5. Maintain records: Keep comprehensive records of all training undertaken, including content, trainers, and completion dates.

Things to remember

• Standard 3 applies to all personnel, not just drivers.

• Training is not a one-time event; ongoing refresh and updates are crucial.

• Effective training goes beyond knowledge; it cultivates a culture of fatigue awareness and safety within your company.

• Maintain training records – If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.

Consider a digital compliance system

Implementing a digital compliance system, such as Hubfleet can significantly simplify the setup and ongoing operations of your Fatigue Management processes. Hubfleet helps with all aspect of the fatigue management standard, including Standard 3, by capturing training records and providing notification of when training has expired, or refresher courses are due.

It is also worth considering engaging an accredited auditor, like Transport Health and Safety to help get you up and running. And familiarise yourself with the NHVAS Fatigue Management Accreditation Guide.

By taking a proactive approach to training and education, you can build a robust fatigue management system, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your drivers, your business, and the wider community. Remember, addressing fatigue isn’t just a legal requirement; it’s the right thing to do.

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