Demonstrating a company-wide commitment to fatigue management

As a heavy vehicle fleet manager, your responsibilities extend beyond ensuring your trucks are roadworthy and your loads delivered on time. 

Driver safety, particularly fatigue management, is paramount in the Australian transport industry.

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 Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). 

In this article, we will focus on Fatigue Management Standard Part 4, Responsibilities and Management Practices.

Understanding Standard 4

Standard 4 mandates that you put robust systems in place to demonstrate a company-wide commitment to fatigue management. 

This goes beyond just having policies on paper. Here’s what it entails:

• Leadership: Top-level management must actively demonstrate support for fatigue management initiatives, from policy creation to resource allocation.

• Clearly defined roles: Everyone involved, from schedulers to drivers, must understand their responsibilities within your fatigue management system.

Risk assessments and controls: Regularly identify, analyse, and implement measures to reduce fatigue-related risks within your operations.

Training and education: All personnel involved in your transport operations need ongoing training on fatigue identification, management, and company-specific procedures.

Compliance challenges and how to overcome them

Glyn Castanelli has spent over 30 years in the heavy vehicle transport industry in many roles including his current role as an NHVR Accredited Auditor at Transport Health and Safety.  Glyn has identified the following common issues companies face in implementing a robust fatigue management system, and has advice on how to overcome them:

1. Inconsistent policy implementation: Beautiful policies and manuals don’t guarantee real-world compliance. Thorough, continuous training, and ongoing communication are essential to ensure policies translate into practices.

2. Poor documentation: Auditors demand evidence. Without accurate records of driver hours, schedules, training, and incident reports, demonstrating compliance becomes impossible.

3. Outdated systems: Relying on paper-based systems for managing fatigue compliance is inefficient, error-prone, and fails to provide the real-time insights you need for effective risk management.

The digital advantage: Introducing Hubfleet

The best way to streamline meeting Standard 4 requirements is to embrace digital compliance technology. Solutions like Hubfleet offer a comprehensive suite of tools to transform your fatigue management practices:

Centralised record keeping: Hubfleet allows you to effortlessly store and access all driver work diaries, training records, and incident reports in one secure location. This makes audits a breeze.

Automated compliance checks: The platform helps ensure your schedules and rosters are in line with regulations, flagging potential fatigue risks before they become problems.

Fatigue risk analytics: Access to real-time data allows you to quickly identify trends and make adjustments to improve fatigue management across your fleet.

Driver communication: Hubfleet can deliver policies, procedures, permits and other compliance documents directly to drivers’ mobile devices, promoting ongoing awareness and engagement.

Beyond compliance: safer operations and improved efficiency

Implementing Hubfleet isn’t simply about adhering to regulations. It’s about fostering a proactive safety culture and optimising your operations:

Reduced incident risk: Mitigating fatigue demonstrably reduces the chance of human error and fatigue-related accidents.

Enhanced driver wellbeing: Showing commitment to your drivers’ safety improves morale and retention.

Streamlined scheduling: Hubfleet’s tools can help balance compliance with operational efficiency when creating routes and schedules.

Embrace the future of fatigue management

Fatigue Management Accreditation Standard 4 highlights the need for a systematic approach to fatigue risk management.

By leveraging technologies like Hubfleet, you’ll gain the tools to not just comply, but to establish your fleet as an industry leader in safety and efficiency.

Disclaimer: This article offers general guidance. For specific legal advice and detailed information on Fatigue Management Accreditation, always consult the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) website or an accredited legal advisor.

The other stories in the Hubfleet series can be found here:

A practical and comprehensive guide for meeting fatigue management standards

Meeting health and wellbeing obligations

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

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