Studies have shown that fatigue training is the #1 most effective form of safety training for fleets—but not in the way you think. Circadian Australia, a fatigue risk management company, developed and tested a new method of fatigue training specifically designed for the transportation industry.
The Results: With this new type of training, the test fleet saw a 23.5% drop in accidents and a 65.8% reduction in the cost of accidents.
The Surprising Truth: They provided fatigue training to safety managers, not drivers.
Why You Should Train Your Managers, Too
Circadian’s approach to targeting managers with fatigue training derives from their belief that fleets should “assess the root causes and patterns of fatigue that result in costly—and deadly—accidents.” A major cause of driver fatigue is that drivers’ schedules don’t align with typical human sleep needs, meaning that addressing the dangers of fatigue starts in the office and before the cab.
Following this logic, Circadian implemented safety manager training in one of the fleets they service with the following goals:
- Identify individual work-rest patterns with the highest fatigue risk
- Teach managers when these patterns occur throughout the day
- Train managers to schedule routes around high-risk time periods
- Hold managers personally accountable for fatigue risk
Reducing Driver Fatigue – What You Need to Know
Using a tool called CAS, Circadian analyzed HOS log books and identified which drivers were operating during hours they should instead be resting.
Circadian then instructed the safety managers on how to identify which drivers were overly-fatigued and how they could help combat fatigue. They emphasized three key strategies:
- Avoid rapid rotations in the starting time of work
- Reduce the number of consecutive shifts worked
- Provide rest breaks which allow two consecutive nights of sleep
How Well It Worked, And Why It Did
The fleet who implemented Circadian’s training saw a 23.5% drop in accidents and a 65.8% reduction in the cost of accidents. So not only is this training effective at reducing the total number of accidents incurred, it’s effective at reducing the severity of them.
Additionally, the average fatigue score of the drivers in this fleet—as measured by Circadian’s CAS software—fell from 47 to 29. Moreover, the test fleet likely saw a reduction in voluntary turnover as quality of life for their newly rested drivers improved.
Sleep matters for drivers. Getting safety managers directly involved in driver rest is essential. Tools like the Idelic Safety Suite allow safety managers to see all of their driver data in one platform, including sleep apnea and CPAP data. With this visibility and predictive analytics, Safety Suite makes it easy to spot who’s at-risk of fatigue and intervene before it can result in a major, preventable accident.