The Aim of This Guide

This guide is designed for individuals who are responsible for managing fatigue risk at an operational level. You should already have completed the Fatigue Management Strategies for Employees (TP 14573E) workbook or equivalent, which provided information about the causes and consequences of fatigue, and included practical strategies for managing the impact of fatigue. Fatigue Management Strategies for Employees focused on reducing fatigue risk at the individual level. You should now be familiar with the risks associated with fatigue and the major contributors to increased fatigue levels (i.e., inadequate quality and/or quantity of sleep, time of day, and length of time awake). This guide explains how the risks associated with fatigue can be managed at the organizational level within a safety management system framework. You will learn how to implement fatigue risk management controls systematically within your organization.

Your Role

As an individual in a managerial or supervisory role you are accountable not only for managing your own fatigue levels but also the fatigue risk of employees within your organization and/or work unit. The tools and strategies presented in this guide have been developed to help you manage fatigue risk at various levels, ranging from ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements to investigating and learning from accidents and incidents in the workplace. Managing fatigue-related risk in the organization is achieved using a fatigue risk management system (FRMS).

How to Use This Guide

This guide describes how an FRMS is best employed within an organization’s safety management system. This allows the risks associated with fatigue to be managed in a way similar to other hazards such as dangerous goods. An FRMS should be based on an internal risk assessment of the organization. This ensures that any fatigue management strategies being implemented are measured, appropriate, and targeted. There are several Canadian national standards for risk assessment, all of which clearly outline acceptable guidelines for risk management (e.g., CAN/CSA-Q850-971, CAN/CSAQ634-912).

The fatigue risk management system described in this guide provides your company and employees with a recognized process based on likelihood and consequence and the need to identify, understand, and control the workplace hazard. The resources and time required for implementing a fatigue risk management system will be determined by the relative risk identified during your risk assessment process.

There are six major aspects to an FRMS:

1. Policies and Procedures:

Outline the commitment of organizational management to manage fatigue-related risk;

Detail the required procedures for managing fatigue at the operational level.

2. Responsibilities:

List personnel responsible for FRMS design, implementation, and maintenance;

Document responsibilities of individual employees and work groups.

3. Risk Assessment/Management:

Scheduled versus actual hours of work;

Individual sleep patterns;

Symptom checklists;

Error/incident reporting.

4. Training:

Promote knowledge in the workplace about risks, causes, and consequences of fatigue;

Ensure employees understand and can apply fatigue management strategies.

5. Controls and Action Plans:

Toolbox of methods used within the FRMS, including error reduction techniques (“fatigue proofing”);

Clear decision trees for managers and employees to use when fatigue has been identified as a risk.

6. Audit and Review:

Documentation and data collection at regular intervals of how the FRMS works;

Review of the FRMS based on audit results.

1 Canadian Standards Association (1991). CAN/CSA-Q634-91 Risk Analysis Requirements and Guidelines, Quality Management – A National Standard of Canada. Rexdale (Toronto).

2 Canadian Standards Association (1997). CAN/CSA-Q850-97 Risk Management: Guideline for Decision-Makers. Rexdale (Toronto).

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