Carrier guide for fatigue management takes first steps

OTTAWA — For several years a group of trucking industry representatives has been researching driver fatigue and possible ways to manage it within the confines of day-to-day operation.

And with the research all but done, the group — made up from Canadian and American governments, carriers, researchers and associations — has all the data needed to create a comprehensive program for carriers.

They just need someone to put it all together.

The members of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) issued a request for proposal in May 2010 for the development of guidelines and materials to enable motor carriers to develop voluntary company Fatigue Management Programs.

The RFP deadline is June 16. The RFP identifies a number of goals for the Motor Carrier Guide, including identifying the best current research on corporate culture, education and training for all levels of the supply chain. As well as sleep disorder screening and treatment, scheduling, and fatigue-monitoring technologies.

The intent is to fully develop the Motor Carrier Guide by early 2011.

This is just the latest phase in work that has been carried out over several years.

The NAFMP conducted a number of research phases that looked to develop a scientific understanding of fatigue and its effects to raise awareness and educate professional drivers, shippers, receivers and dispatchers, as well as families about fatigue and ways to prevent and counter its effects. The results of the study indicate that there are significant safety benefits available to motor carriers who choose to implement a comprehensive approach to fatigue management.

Combining all aspects of fatigue management, NAFMP’s work will culminate with the development of a Motor Carrier Guide for the industry on how to voluntarily implement a Fatigue Management Program.

One key aspect of the voluntary Fatigue Management Program is it will be designed to fit the various constraints in the trucking industry, such as HOS rules. In the end, the NAFMP envisions the guide to be available on a user-friendly website that can be used by motor carriers of all sizes and located anywhere in North America.

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