One more time: can we get rural fatigue management right?

As part of the move to set up the National Regulator, back in May this year Ministers gave approval to some important work to change how, in the national fatigue management system, the ‘Advanced Fatigue Management’ (AFM) scheme works.

AFM was intended by governments to provide flexibility to a large number of operators. In practice, after being available for three years, less than 25 operators nationwide hold AFM accreditation – but at least two of these are ALRTA members.

In the run-up to that meeting in May, the ALRTA lobbied officials and Ministers for creation of a ‘flexible rural fatigue management scheme’ – either nationwide or operating in the Eastern States, but delivering a lot of the features and benefits found in WA’s scheme.

The decision’s now been taken by government that we’re going to be given the chance to create such a scheme. The work is going to occur as part of the broader ‘re-thinking’ of the AFM Scheme.

On 25 November, our National Council will be holding a day-long workshop in Adelaide with the nation’s key fatigue experts and staff of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Project Office.

We’re going to begin exploring what a better, more flexible solution to fatigue management might look like.

It won’t be a free lunch. If you think the auditing and training requirements of BFM, the ATA scheme TruckSafe or the WA fatigue scheme is all just too much BS, then it’s not likely that we’ll ever be able to win a result that pleases you.

But if you’re one of our many members who has successfully taken part in BFM, TruckSafe, or the WA scheme, you might want to come to attend this workshop.

If you understand that training, health checks and good management are important to keeping your drivers safe, then you should come to this workshop.

And if you know that for rural areas in the Eastern States, the BFM scheme still doesn’t get you everything you need, then you must come to this workshop!

Numbers will be limited. Send the faxback to Anna at National Office soon.

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