Safety alert 02/2013 - Non-conforming sleeper cabs in commercial vehicles increase the risk of driver fatigue

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

An investigation into a recent workplace incident revealed an unrelated potential risk for drivers of commercial vehicles.  It has been identified that some commercial vehicle drivers have been undertaking periods of non-work time in a moving vehicle in which the cab does not meet the design requirements of Australian Design Rule 42/04. This increases the risk of driver fatigue when non-work time is taken by commercial vehicle drivers (two-up driving team) in a moving vehicle that does not meet those design requirements.

Contributing factors 

  • The risk of driver fatigue can increase if the cab is uncomfortable or does not provide adequate space and support for the commercial vehicle driver to obtain quality sleep during periods of non - work time. This particularly applies in a two up driving scenario.

Action required

  1. Employers must provide a safe working environment for employees. A commercial vehicle that operates north of the 26th Parallel in WA between October 1 and March 31 should be air conditioned. If used as an alternative for sleeping accommodation, the air conditioning should be able to run continuously while the vehicle is stationary.
  2. The responsible person at the workplace, in consultation with drivers, should ensure that the working environment assists in the prevention of driver fatigue as far as practicable by providing sleeper cabs that meet the requirements of Australian Design Rule 42 /04 as a minimum requirement for both two-up and single driver operations.

Further information 

This Alert contains safety information following inquires made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

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