Paperless EWD Fatigue Management is a Reality. Why wait?
Fatigue Management has always been about processing paper in large volumes, and the data entry of written work diaries to discover after-the-fact when drivers are breaching their obligations.
Since 2008 a growing number of transport operators have adopted electronic fatigue management systems including Electronic Work Diaries (EWD's), to reduce their paperwork burden and become compliant. Waiting for regulators to catch up with technology and real fleet needs was never an option for these transport industry leaders. Now in 2016 the written work diary has become redundant in terms of a useful and accurate document, as fleets turn more towards real time electronic fatigue management systems which better meet compliance and business productivity needs.
With voluntary certified EWD's unlikely to be available until later in 2017 or 2018, the benefit of simply removing the written work diary is quite small when consideration is given to the exposure a transport operator adopting certified EWD's will have to automatic minor infringements. It would be expected to see a proliferation of ‘cut and paste’ penalties that don’t necessarily improve safety or compliance, but deter the early adoption of this technology. It is critical that a transport operator manages its drivers using innovative technology and tools currently available and decide on the corrective action under reasonable steps, including the freedom to use any technology or smartphone apps that meet their needs.
As the majority (more than 70 per cent of heavy vehicles) operate within 100 km of local areas, or are accredited to NHVAS Fatigue, they are free to use any technology including uncertified EWD's or smartphone apps to meet their Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations. In the case of CoR, transport operators will continue to ensure drivers complete the written work diary under current regulations, even though it has limited if any benefit to the transport operator.
Heavy vehicle fatigue management using paper systems has always been about after-the-fact identification of fatigue breaches and the necessary corrective action required. A number of factors have contributed to the large increase in paperwork and auditing that now takes place, with the NHVAS Fatigue module becoming a significant but necessary overhead for fleets. Additional paperwork, completion of the National Work Diary, as well as data entry of driver fatigue data to determine breaches is costing fleets significantly. Our solution to this pervasive paper problem is to deploy into the truck a reliable Android or Windows (6.5/8/10) based enterprise mobile platform and a Cloud based software solution to eliminate almost all NHVAS Fatigue as well as related paperwork, and provide fleet operations with real time fatigue checking. See the typical HERMES fatigue work screen below.
Delivering a paperless solution requires some of the following fatigue management tools for drivers:
Sign-on glass driver declaration for fitness for duty and adequate rest taken, with interlocks to prevent driver bypassing this process.
Simple W for work and R for rest button press.
Online and offline operation of 28-day work diary with driver editing and audit trail.
Display all fatigue hours for work, rest, night, long and 84/144 limits.
Standard and BFM driver nomination and fatigue rules application.
Rest warnings at 45, 15 and 5 minutes with audio announcement.
Informative breach warnings with details of fatigue rule breached and audio announcement.
Accurately audit written work diary against the EWD records.
Fleet operations staff should have immediate access to all the NHVAS Fatigue related information that is required to meet all the fatigue management requirements and more. In order to fully meet the NHVAS Fatigue standards the following paperless capabilities would be required:
Auditing of any driver fitness for duty declaration and signature.
Allocators to have access to all drivers’ fatigue data including 7/14 day hours remaining and night/long hours.
Compliance staff to access full 28-day EWD for any period of time for review.
Maintain all driver training records for fatigue and medicals with expiry alerts.
Email/SMS fatigue breaches in real time and manage corrective actions with drivers.
Alerts for driving while EWD is in rest.
Fatigue breach reports with corrective action with driver.
One of the greatest challenges a fleet manager has is the collation and analysis of vast amounts of information ‘Big Data’, especially once NHVAS Fatigue is automated. Fleet Effect has integrated a Business Intelligence platform into our Cloud fleet solution, which provides Dashboards and KPI reports for various aspects of fatigue management compliance, including corrective action responsiveness and breach severity analysis.
Paperless NHVAS Fatigue is now a reality and numerous fleets are benefiting from 100 per cent compliance performance and significant reduction in operating costs. By John Tsoucalas - GM, Compliance Systems (Fleet Effect).