Whilst fatigue is recognised as a significant contributor to incidents in the mining and transport industries, an initial review undertaken by TMS Consulting (TMS) in 2011 found that there are serious gaps in the knowledge base of fatigue, sleep, health and safety related data in the Australian pipeline industry. Research in other industries with similar working conditions and work schedules, such as fly in/fly out mining and off-shore oil and gas, demonstrate links between work scheduling arrangements, fatigue and the frequency and severity of injuries and accidents, and as such it is expected that fatigue should be proactively managed within the pipeline industry also.
In recognition of the shortage of data in this industry, TMS was engaged to conduct a Fatigue Management Study (FMS) within the Australian pipeline industry. The primary goal of the FMS was to quantify sleep and fatigue, and variables relating to health and safety using a single, large-scale coal seam gas pipeline construction project in the Queensland Surat Basin as a “representative” Australian pipeline construction project.
This paper is contextualised by the preliminary FMS findings specific to Australian pipelining, and expands on the major conclusions submitted in the 2011 paper “Fatigue and Its Relationship to Roster Cycle Length” (TMS Consulting, 2011). This paper will explore the next steps in managing and controlling fatigue as a real and serious occupational and public safety risk, recognising that fatigue is perhaps an issue in most extended working schedules. Considering that the previous TMS review outlined the links between work schedules and fatigue in some detail, 4 these aspects will only be touched upon.
TMS presents the paper Fatigue Management – The Next Steps.