Tram Drivers are concerned about the effects of fatigue arising as a result of the fixed roster. The most fatigue inducing shifts are reported to be those where there is a rotation from early to late shifts and the night shift.
Early to late rotation: The reporter comments that the structure of the roster is the main reason for fatigue; a week of very early shifts is followed by a week of very late shifts. Normally staff are given two full days' rest in between but there are a number of weeks in the roster where only one full day is provided. This makes it difficult for staff to adjust their sleeping patterns and get enough rest before rotating shifts.
Night shift: The night shift, which runs from 22:15 - 06:40, is also a cause of concern. This shift is for tram preparation work and involves at least eight miles of walking over the course of the shift. On occasion, staff have also been expected to drive trains during the morning service if another Driver fails to turn up for their shift.
It is felt that that the shifts described above and the activities involved increase fatigue amongst staff and the likelihood of micro sleeping, which could lead to an operational incident.
The reporter makes the following suggestions to improve the roster and reduce the effects of fatigue:
- Allow all staff to work the flexible roster where a longer run of either early or late consecutive shifts is worked, with a greater number of rest days in between.
- Introduce middle shifts to avoid the rotation straight from early to late shifts, allowing for a better adjustment period.
- Finish the night shift at 04:00 and do not allow staff working the night shift to cover Driver duties the same morning.
Could First Croydon Trams consider:
- Reviewing the fixed roster in relation to the concerns raised above?
- The reporter's suggestions of how to improve the roster and work life balance?