Driver fatigue through nightshifts in succession

Coal Services (Health and Safety Trust) funded ARRB Group Ltd to investigate fatigue and performance of truck drivers over consecutive shifts. The questions were: What is the most important contributor to acute fatigue in mining? Is it length of shift (eg. 8 hours Vs 12 hours) or is it time of day (eg. circadian effects)? What is the limit of successive day or night shifts before chronic fatigue affects driver performance in open cut mines? The project methodology included utilising ARRB Fatigue Monitoring Devices in eight haul trucks, testing 24 drivers over several weeks. Each driver filled in a Fatigue Risk Questionnaire on lifestyle and health. Drivers worked a 14 night, 1 day off, 13 day roster of 12-hour shifts in a fly-in, fly-out operation. A total of 3,500 hours of real-time data was collected, representing the first set of objective, real-time driver performance data for Australian mining. The data showed that for a single night of driving haul trucks, there appears to be little effect on driver fatigue from the amount of time on task (for the 12 hours). The circadian influence had a stronger affect than working more than eight hours. Of the fourteen nights worked at the site, nights thirteen, fourteen, seven and two respectively, were the worst. This presents a conundrum for policy makers who may like to place caps on working hours or rosters in the hope that it will alleviate the fatigue issue. The major finding within this study is the combined influence of circadian rhythms (human body clock) and individual variability on performance.

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp. 145-152
  • Monograph Title: Rail achieving growth: CORE 2006: conference on railway engineering, 30 April-3 May 2006, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517152
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2014 8:10PM