Many of us are driving on the job with an overwhelming sense of being tired. It is a definite safety hazard made more acute when you consider how many jobs require several hours behind the wheel each week. The Conference Board of Canada states that the trucking industry moves 90% of all consumer products and food within Canada and 60 % of trade with the USA. This amount of volume alone accounts for 33% of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the transportation sector. That is a lot of commercial vehicular activity on Canada's highways.
It is also estimated that about 20% of fatal vehicle crashes in Canada are caused by driver fatigue. Whether the drowsiness is caused by shift-work, rotating work schedules, or a poor sleep before getting behind the wheel, commercial driving is an acute safety concern with companies and safety registries; this is being addressed through fatigue management programs (FMP), created to increase awareness of fatigue, manage the risk factors and hazards, and prevent related injury and illness. Canada’s provincial OH&S administration bodies are increasing the fines associated with employers’ responsibility with their workers’ health and safety, including fatigue management.
Do you see enough awareness of fatigue in your workplace? Are employees being responsible for the amount of time they spend behind the wheel? Beyond fine increases for employers, what can be done to improve accountability with fatigue management?