Work and rest requirements
In addition to the general duty to not drive a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle on a road while impaired by fatigue, drivers must comply with certain maximum work and minimum rest limits.
Parties in the supply chain to take all reasonable steps to prevent the drivers from exceeding these limits. This is similar to occupational health and safety laws and means that drivers must stop if they are at risk of exceeding the limits and alternative arrangements.
The HVNL offers provides for three work and rest arrangements: Standard hours and, through the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) or Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) modules. These optional accreditations give operators more flexibility on when a driver can work and rest, as long as they have a compliant fatigue management system that properly manages the risks of driver fatigue.
Standard Hours are the work and rest hours allowed in the HVNL for all drivers who are not operating under NHVAS accreditation or an exemption. They are the maximum amount of work and minimum amount of rest possible that can be performed without additional safety countermeasures.
The table below applies to solo drivers.
Basic Fatigue Management (BFM)
Operators with BFM accreditation can operate under more flexible work and rest hours, allowing for (among other things) work of up to 14 hours in a 24-hour period. BFM gives operators a greater say in when drivers can work and rest, as long as the risks of driver fatigue are properly managed.
The below table applies to solo drivers.
Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM)
AFM brings a genuine risk management approach to managing heavy vehicle driver fatigue. Rather than prescribing work and rest hours, AFM offers more flexibility than Standard Hours or BFM in return for the operator demonstrating greater accountability for managing their drivers’ fatigue risks.
Livestock and Rural Transporter’s Fatigue Management Scheme
By the end of this year, the NHVR will commence the implementation of the Livestock and Rural Transport Fatigue Management Scheme (LRTFMS), providing new opportunities for operators and drivers who become accredited with the NHVR. The scheme will commence by making 14 day rosters available to livestock and rural operators.
Subject to the support of the NHVR’s independent expert fatigue safety advisors, the NHVR plans to expand the scheme with two other opportunities for rural operators (long rural runs and rural time bank).
You can also read the LRTFMS information sheet (PDF, 140KB) for further details.
Risk Classification System
The NHVR has introduced a new approach to applying for flexible work and rest arrangements under AFM called the Risk Classification System (RCS).
Previously, applicants to AFM developed their application based on worst-case scenarios within pre-determined outer limits. The RCS approach to AFM is based on identifying high risk potentials in your proposed hours and mitigating those risk potentials across seven key fatigue management principles.
For more information about the RCS approach download the Risk Classification System for Advanced Fatigue Management Policy (PDF, 855KB).
The RCS is based on fatigue science and research and enables operators to submit work schedules with higher risk potential elements (such as longer or more frequent shifts) that are mitigated by offsetting potential elements and countermeasures (for example, increased work related breaks).
For more information about scientific evidence used download the Risk Classification System for Advanced Fatigue Management Evidence Statement (PDF, 527KB).
The system helps to assess the levels of fatigue risk associated with combinations of work, rest and sleep.
The RCS includes a risk matrix tool that will be used by the NHVR when assessing an AFM application and will provide greater transparency on application decisions.
Benefits of RCS
- Greater flexibility in work schedules
- Decreased administrative and financial burdens in developing and approving your AFM application
- Faster approval periods, leading to improved business operations and productivity
- Transparency in decisions as applicants and the NHVR use the same tool to assess a proposed schedule.
- You can self-assess your application
How the RCS works
Applicants for AFM will assess their fatigue risk profile for their common work schedules, such as regular trips, against seven fatigue management principles.
A risk potential rank from baseline to high is set for each principle. Using the RCS matrix, you will be able to see the risk potential ranking for your particular work schedule and can derive a profile for your entire schedule. You should use this information when deciding what countermeasures are needed for your fatigue management system. The fatigue management system must comply with the 10 AFM standards.
If you propose multiple high or medium risk potentials, you may have to prepare a safety case that describes how the fatigue risks are managed by the business practices described in your fatigue management system
You always have the option to amend your work tasks if your circumstances change.
For more information about the AFM application process download the Advanced Fatigue Management Business Rules (PDF, 322KB).
Seven fatigue management principles
The seven principles are grouped into three categories:
Work-related rest breaks (such as short rest breaks):
1. Reduce the time spent continuously working in the work opportunity
2. The more frequent breaks from driving, the better
Recovery breaks (such as major rest breaks):
3. Ensure an adequate sleep opportunity in order to obtain sufficient sleep
4. Maximise adequate night sleep
5. Minimise shifts ending between 00:00-06:00
6. Minimise extended shifts
Reset breaks (such as long periods of rest or extended leave):
7. Prevent accumulation of fatigue with reset breaks of at least 30hrs (and include two night periods, 00:00 – 06:00) between work sequences
The NHVR has developed a spreadsheet to assist you in calculating the fatigue risks in your proposed work and rest hours. Download the Risk Classification System Excel Tool (XLS, 252KB).
There are ten fatigue management standards that you need to comply with for AFM:
- Scheduling and rostering – scheduling of trips and rostering of drivers will incorporate fatigue management measures
- Readiness for duty – drivers are in a fit state to safely perform required duties
- Fatigue knowledge and awareness – all personnel involved in the management, operation, administration, participation and verification of the AFM option can demonstrate competency in fatigue knowledge relevant to their position on the causes, effects and management of fatigue and the operator’s fatigue management system
- Responsibilities – the authorisations, responsibilities and duties of all positions involved in the management, operation, administration, participation and verification of their operations under the AFM option are current, clearly defined and documented and carried out accordingly
- Internal review – an internal review system is implemented to identify non-compliances and verify that the activities comply with the AFM Standards and the operator’s fatigue management system
- Records and documentation – the operator will implement, authorise, maintain and review documented policies and procedures that ensure the effective management, performance and verification of the AFM option in accordance with the standards. Records that demonstrated the compliant operation of the AFM option are collected, stored and maintained to verify compliance
- Health – drivers are to participate in a health management system to identify and manage fatigue risks
- Workplace conditions – workplace environments and conditions must assist in the prevention of fatigue
- Management practices – management practices are to minimise the risks relating to driver fatigue
- Operating limits – operating limits will provide drivers and operators with the flexibility to effectively manage fatigue.
For more information about what operators need to do in order to qualify for accreditation and to stay qualified, download the Advanced Fatigue Management Standards (PDF, 454KB).
Operators with approved AFM accreditations
Operators with existing AFM accreditation on 10 February 2014 are not required to re-apply for AFM until their current approval ends.
At this time, operators whose previously approved AFM system can be accommodated under the RCS, will be able to transition their accreditation to the new arrangement. Operators whose approved AFM system is considered incompatible with the RCS, can elect to have their current AFM system reapproved, if they agree to work with the NHVR to transition their current system to work under the RCS.
Transport ministers have set a timeframe for this transition period. AFM accreditation approved under this arrangement will end on the 31 December 2015. The NHVR is committed to taking the time to working through all issues so that current AFM participants have a smooth transition to the new arrangements.
Reference – NHVR