If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while travelling at a speed of 100 km/h the car will have gone 111 metres without a driver in control. Fatigue can kill in just seconds.
Understanding and applying what is taught in a fatigue Management course , whether in face to face training or via on-line mode is absolutely vital. It is more than just a box to be ticked so a driver can get on the road and operate longer shifts. Effective fatigue risk management systems must be underpinned by comprehensive training as well as operators having compliant and well run Systems in place.
Anecdotes abound about dodgy practices and who actually is doing the training, ranging from the company accountant to coaching by a “smart” colleague. In one reported case, the driver asked his adolescent child to “Google” the answers to assessment questions being done on-line, rather than engage in learning new information or facts by doing the course.
RTO’s and Companies as participants in the Chain of Responsibility should be diligent enough to ensure the driver who undertakes the fatigue management course can be verified , particularly the On-line versions as the correct persons engaged in the course? Failure to be diligent is a very dangerous practice, it devalues the impact of the learning as well as engaging in fraudulent behaviour. Such actions could lead to legal sanctions as well as having a dangerous outcome for drivers and the public.
The new fatigue risk management systems units of competency about to be implemented only go part of the way to addressing the issue of the integrity of the training. Greater involvement by the Regulator, diligence by the RTO and the Truck Operators will hopefully reduce the desire to engage in poor training practices. Short cuts benefit no one and endanger others. Seconds count.