Understanding the challenges and complexities presented by fatigue is essential for rail professionals. SymTerra director John Ryan shares his view of why managing fatigue doesn’t need to be complex
The safe and productive operation of the UK rail industry is crucially linked to managing fatigue, and is addressed by Network Rail (NR) through its Fatigue Risk Management Standard (NR/L2/OHS/003). This has recently been refined following a comprehensive review by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
The renewed standard emphasises the importance of actively taking steps to manage fatigue, for everyone from executives to onsite staff. The standard places a duty of care on everyone working on NR managed infrastructure, assets, and systems to reduce the risk of fatigue to as low as reasonably practicable.
The standard aims to ensure better planning of work rosters to ensure no team member is working more hours than they should be for their personal wellbeing. By reviewing shift durations, onsite working hours and commuting times, it is possible to mitigate fatigue and look for early warning signs that someone’s work patterns may have an effect on their wellbeing.
SymTerra’s system utilises the Fatigue Risk Index guidelines outlined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to calculate a Fatigue Score and Risk Score for each person in real time.
“By embracing technology, we not only enhance safety but also optimise productivity, ultimately delivering better results to our clients while prioritising the health and vitality of our workforce”
By capturing essential data related to shift durations, onsite working hours and commuting times, this system can equip decision makers with accurate insights, enabling more consistent compliance to the standard as well as a better-managed workforce.
SymTerra understands that providing yet another reporting tool can add to the causes of fatigue. SymTerra offers a complete site management tool that simplifies communication and reporting across the entire project team, including supply chain, making data less dispersed and distracting and meaning the data can become information. SymTerra turn this information in to insights, so meaningful actions can be taken.
The benefit of SymTerra’s system, is that it works with a company’s existing systems, processes, and procedures. Dashboards can be used to simplify the viewing of data and highlight potential high scoring and at-risk employees. This information can then be used to take positive action to prevent fatigue becoming a problem.
Of course, a system is only as the data that’s entered, with proper advance planning of work patterns, SymTerra can predict where fatigue may be a factor.
This can be used for freelance or third-party teams with adequate training and by proactively managing fatigue through better time management of planned works, teams can show an increase in productivity. SymTerra have observed and evidenced a 10% efficiency gains across some projects.
John Fitzmaurice, Head of Compliance, Line Side Construction Ltd, said: “Line Side Construction Limited are a leading; building subcontractor, project management, and consultancy company operating in all areas of rail infrastructure throughout the United Kingdom.
“At Line Side Construction, our commitment to fatigue management extends beyond the consideration of working hours. We prioritise education, sleeping patterns, and dietary factors to ensure the well-being of our workforce.
“Our approach includes implementing a strict limit of six shifts, each preceded by a minimum 24-hour rest period, before commencing the next shift.
“Night shifts are reserved for emergencies only, preserving the body’s circadian rhythms and promoting the overall health and efficiency of our team.
“We leverage SymTerra to bolster our management efforts. By embracing technology, we not only enhance safety but also optimise productivity, ultimately delivering better results to our clients while prioritising the health and vitality of our workforce.”
Build in Digital Stakeholder SymTerra is a construction site management software firm that provides a simple, instant and integrated method for the entire supply chain of any project to communicate, collaborate and capture vital information at the point of work.
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