Fit for work? Not likely...

by Iain Hopkins09 Apr 2015

Where to next?
Don’t wait until there’s an accident! Business leaders should act now. The gold star for modern fatigue management practices goes to the US nuclear industry – for obvious reasons.
Organisations in that industry have to comply with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Regulation 10 CFR 26, which includes a set of complex rules defining limits for work hours, scheduling, break constraints, periodic employee assessments and other regulations.
To ensure NRC compliance companies assign proper rosters to employees, tracking time against those rosters, issuing compliance notices to employers and supervisors and extensive reporting. In addition, they have available to them:
  • ‘what if?’ scheduling/rostering scenarios
  • staff call-out lists based on qualifications, preferences and NRC requirements
  • equalisation based on qualifications, preferences and NRC requirements
  • shift-swapping availability
  • regular updates on NRC reporting requirements
At a more modest but no less effective level, employers in Australia can kick their fatigue management systems to the next level by:
  • monitoring employee productivity
  • focusing on the roster cycle - an important part of the solution but not the whole solution - provides strong indications of when employees need resting
  • checking on absenteeism
  • implementing an IT-driven fatigue management policy. IT solutions will automate processes, remove complexity and give you greater coverage across the organisation.
Key take-aways
“There are many approaches to setting up a fatigue management policy,” says Kissell, who provides six easy steps that organisations can use to start themselves off on the journey to a full fatigue management policy.
  1. Equip the management team and line managers to implement the FMP

  • Provide them with a complete and current view of rosters, employees and employee profiles
  • Empower those managers to assess and decide on an employee’s fitness-for-duty
  • Set up alerts within your IT system that set off triggers if an employee’s fatigue risk changes
  • Establish processes for replacing fatigued workers with eligible call-ins
  • Ensure your system gives regular, detailed reporting on fatigue management against the fatigue management policy

  1. Within your organisation, review and identify all job groups/families – and isolate those which are identified as fatigue inducing
  2. Institute the policies and programs to minimise the impact of identified fatigue-inducing jobs
  3. Avoid scheduling employees who are either not ‘fit-for-duty’ or who have not completed required rest periods
  4. Use the IT workforce management solution to automate processes and policies
  5. Review at regular and calendarised intervals

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