May 2012 in Network Rail and Suppliers
Some staff travel more than an hour to and from work, whilst also working 12 hour shifts. Although records may indicate staff are only working and travelling for 14 hours, the issue is that when actual travel times are also observed, some staff exceed the recommendation. The major risk is of staff being fatigued - this could impact staff safety whilst at work and when travelling. The reporter believes better planning could reduce the amount of travel time to and from the site of work.
The reporter is aware of other contractors using a system that helps Managers allocate work and provide appropriate rest based on the hours staff work and travel. For example, one system requires staff to log the times they leave home, arrive at work, their hours on site, the time they leave work and then reach home. Accommodation is also offered so that staff are properly rested before working or driving. If a more robust system is used, the risk of fatigue could be reduced.
Readypower is asked to consider:
Response from Readypower
Readypower would like to thank the reporter for
communicating their concern to us.
Readpower takes these concerns very seriously and
appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that the planning and
monitoring of working hours and shifts does not exceed the 14 hour
door-to-door recommendation. Additionally the risk of fatigue will
be fully assessed and reduced as far as reasonable
practicable. As an immediate action, we will brief all
Managers and staff about this report and the recommendations
arising from it.
We intend to fully investigate this issue, and where appropriate Readypower will invest and implement appropriate measures and rostering systems to ensure the planning process remains effective and records are accurate. Our investigation will aim to improve safety and not to allocate blame.
We believe that the observations made by your reporter may be limited to a very small number of cases, and is definitely not the norm followed by Readypower. However, any breach or abuse of our safety systems needs to be addressed and prevented from reoccurring. We agree with your reporter that effective planning is key, although our current planning processes already take into account where staff live and the amount of travelling time involved. As appropriate, this process will be improved or enforced if not being followed correctly. Readypower does provide accommodation where we are unable to allocate local staff to a job, so these mechanisms are already in-place.
We are very interested in the logging system
mentioned in this report, and we will evaluate this and other
systems and methods available to accurately record travelling and