One of the improvements CIRAS is in the process to implementing is how it shares good practice and solutions to safety concerns that have resulted from reports received.

We currently provide feedback on three levels. This is currently done via our published newsletter which carries information regarding concerns, responses made and actions taken. We also supplement this by utilising our web site member’s area.

The second level is direct feedback we give to the individual who has raised the concern, which is often more detailed than any that may appear in our newsletter or web site.

The third level is via our member’s committee, which on a quarterly basis, member representatives are provided with details on the number, types and results of reports made. All three levels are subject to continuous improvement.

However, we are looking to introduce another approach which will also utilise those approaches we currently adopt. Recently CIRAS reviewed common concerns raised across a number of transport sectors and we found one very distinct issue that was a major challenge whether you worked in the railways, marine or indeed bus industry. That was the matter of fatigue.

In the past six months, CIRAS Intelligence Manager Chris Langer has written a few articles for various transport publications on the subject of fatigue. What didn’t surprise us was the effects that fatigue can have on individuals, and with our background in rail, we knew this had a history of contributing to numerous rail incidents over the years.

What did surprise us was the lack of understanding that some organisations have on this subject and therefore the management of it in the workplace. The rail industry and Network Rail have standards and guidelines on this subject, but despite these controls, CIRAS still receives reports from rail staff.

Recently some reports received showed peer pressure was a driving force in causing such risk, and then to add to this was fear of retribution should staff raise concerns about it.

So the matter of fatigue in the workplace hasn’t yet been solved but there are many good practices out there that we are aware off, and through the CIRAS process, we have been able to pull together a video that shows some of those solutions our members introduced, that staff and management from other transport modes or organisations can consider adopting.

The video was originally devised following discussions between Chris Langer, CIRAS Scheme Intelligence Manager and Abellio London and Surrey (Bus).

The video explores a number of aspects of fatigue, looking closely at shifts, breaks and rest periods and how they can be effectively managed. Chris added: "Though there is a strong focus on issues within the workplace the video also looks at lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet and exercise which all impact on our levels of fatigue.

Much of the content is common sense, and is also being put into practice within safety critical areas across multiple industries. We pulled ours together from these resources as well as those applied by member organisations through CIRAS reports.

Putting solutions sharing into practice

CIRAS have recently welcomed the entire Transport for London (TfL) bus community to its membership. Through our induction of the scheme to our new members, we saw the opportunity to share with them what we had seen as solutions from past reports.

As a result, we have now ran approximately 12 workshops on fatigue management with both bus and rail supply chain members. These events have seen CIRAS receive a huge amount of positive feedback and continue to do so.

These workshops were a request from CIRAS member organisations particularly for those companies who had previously been the subject of fatigue-related reports. An additional benefit the events provided was cross company and/or industry networking.

Below are some of the feedback we received from attendees:

"It would be good to see more case studies and shared CIRAS reports around fatigue to demonstrate its impact and help to make the link between CIRAS reports and fatigue "

"There is a real need to educate people from entry level upwards on the impact fatigue can have on performance, as well as health and safety."

Members can view the "Members solution – fatigue management video" here. Alternatively, email us at: editor@ciras.org.uk and we will send you a copy.