Fatigue Management System Trial
Members will recall the Loco Express article in July 2020 regarding the NSW Trains proposal to trial their fatigue management plan at various depots or locations. Wyong station staff have trialled and now implemented their roster with the new principles applied. Dubbo and Wollongong depots have been ear marked to trial the new fatigue plan with Dubbo undertaking a risk assessment of their current roster as a part of the initial process. That risk assessment found that their roster did not meet the new principles of the fatigue plan with drivers not getting 10hrs in barracks and coming forward on their second day sign on time by more than 2 hrs. As a result of the Dubbo trial, NSW Trains have had to reassess their plan and we are now advised that they are ready to commence a trial at Wollongong for train crew.
There are five principles to be applied with 3 being “primary principles”, the other 2 are “secondary”. The 3 primary principles are: Shift length – not to exceed 12 hours. Rest between Shifts – 12 hours minimum between shifts, 10 hours minimum when in barracks and Rest days which are a minimum of 2 consecutive days at the end of any sequence of shifts.
For train crew, the application of these principles will have significant impact on roster construction with consecutive shifts being determined by shift hours. The maximum consecutive shifts that can worked is six before having the required two days off which will significantly impact on the current preferred method of grouping book off days. NSW Trains plans to commence the trial at Wollongong from the next timetable change in June and run it through to the October timetable change when an evaluation will occur. Rostering representatives and Delegates will be briefed on the fatigue Management Plan and its application prior to compilation of the new rosters which will have to be risk assessed when completed. NSW Trains have stated that the application of this Fatigue Plan will only apply to the Master Roster and not the period roster or day of operations and will not be extended to other Intercity depots until a full review has occurred.