New fatigue regs for train drivers


Queensland introduces new fatigue management regulations for the rail industry

February 9, 2012

Queensland has introduced new minimum fatigue management standards for the rail industry in a bid to improve safety.

Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the new regulations will set standards for fatigue management across the state's entire rail network.

In the case of a two driver operation – including where the second person is a qualified train driver who is learning the route or undergoing an assessment – the maximum shift length is 12 hours.

A single driver is limited to a nine-hour day except in suburban rail operations where the maximum time is eight hours.

A driver is also required to take a minimum 12 hour-break between each shift where they finish work at a home depot and an eight-hour break when away from the home depot.

Drivers are permitted to work a maximum number of 12 shifts and a maximum of 132 hours in any 14-day period.

"Driving trains requires constant deep concentration whether hauling coal wagons over a kilometre long or carrying hundreds of commuters and tourists and therefore fatigue management is a top of the tree safety issue in our industry," Rail Tram and Bus Union State Secretary Owen Doogan says.

The regulation commenced this week, but the industry will be given year-long transition to adjust.

While a rail transport operator can seek to operate outside the standard hours, Palaszczuk says they need to gain prior approval from the rail safety watchdog.

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