Fatigue and occupational safety in short haul, light transport

The current research investigated short haul light (Light) transport in one Australian state (New South Wales), with the aims of identifying important occupational health and safety issues for drivers, describing their experiences of driver fatigue, benchmarking the nature and extent of driver fatigue against the experiences of long distance heavy (Heavy) vehicle drivers, and describing company views and practices on fatigue and safety management. Two detailed surveys were conducted. Driver and company participants reported on drivers work, work hazards and safety outcomes, and fatigue while driving for work. Drivers responses regarding fatigue were compared to existing data collected from Heavy vehicle drivers (n=1007) in an earlier study. The workplace hazards experienced by Light drivers clustered into four principal components, related to work organisation, vehicles, roads and access, and interpersonal conflict. Work organisation (OR=1.5) and vehicle related hazards (OR=1.3) were significant predictors of reported injury. The association between stress and injury was relatively large (OR=3.5). Further work is needed to elucidate the mechanisms of this effect. Injuries most commonly resulted from goods handling. Over a quarter of drivers reported regular and personally troublesome fatigue at work. Among work-related predictors, longer daily hours, higher subjective workload and more door-to depot work predicted frequent fatigue. Surprisingly, Light drivers did not report fatigue to be less of a problem than Heavy drivers, but contributors and driving effects reflected differences in their work tasks and environment. Company representatives viewed fatigue as less of a problem than did drivers. Of concern, companies adopted few systematic fatigue management practices and tended to attribute fatigue most commonly to non-work factors. The research highlighted manual handling, work pressure, driver fatigue and poor industry awareness of it as important OHS issues for the industry.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 1 file

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01534344
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 11 2014 2:47PM