NT: new heavy vehicle driver fatigue guidance issued

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NT WorkSafe recently issued new guidance material on managing the risks of fatigue when driving heavy vehicles.The new guide is intended to assist heavy vehicle owners and operators in the Northern Territory in developing and implementing appropriate fatigue management systems to eliminate or minimise the risks of fatigue, so far as is reasonably practicable.

In a work context, fatigue is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces a person’s ability to perform work safely and effectively and the guide includes a sample fatigue management system plan and checklist, a risk assessment guide, and a sample driving record.

NT WorkSafe executive director, Peggy Cheong, said the guide was developed in consultation with the road transport industry, including specific input from the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Northern Territory Road Transport Association, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, and the Transport Workers Union.

With the exception of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, the HVNL, which regulate heavy vehicle fatigue management, have been adopted nationally.

If you operate across borders into other jurisdictions, excluding Western Australia, Cheong said you must comply with both the work health and safety legislation in that jurisdiction, as well as the fatigue management requirements under the HVNL.

If you operate into Western Australia, she said you must comply with that state’s work health and safety specific fatigue management requirements, when you are in that state.

The Northern Territory does not impose additional work health and safety obligations to other jurisdictions in Australia, Cheong said.

If you have decided to implement a fatigue management system that is compliant with Western Australia or the HVNL regulated states for your operations in the Northern Territory, Cheong said you will most likely have an appropriate system in place for managing the risk of fatigue in the workplace that is in line with the information set out in the guide.