What is Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) Accreditation?
BFM Management (BFM) is one of the three modules of operator accreditation under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), the other modules are Maintenance Management and Mass Management.
Western Australia has a similar, however different WA Accreditation process.
NHVAS is a National Quality Assurance system where transport operators have systems and processes in place to meet the standards of accreditation set by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
Accredited operators are required to have their systems, processes and records independently verified by authorised NHVAS NHVR Auditors on a regular basis.
The regular reviews by NHVAS Auditors ensure that the operator is keeping the required records and complying with their own quality procedures. If an operator does not meet the required standards their accreditation can be suspended or cancelled.
In return, operators gain substantial benefits, such as protection under Chain of Responsibility (CoR) legislation, increased payloads (Mass Management), increased operational hours (Fatigue Management) and the removal of the requirement for annual Roadworthiness Inspections which is a requirement for some heavy vehicle registrations (Maintenance Management).
For BFM accreditation the following is required:
The operator must have a comprehensive Quality or Procedures Manual which documents the various processes that are in place to ensure that Fatigue is properly managed in all aspects of operations.
Nominated employees who have completed the required medical checks and Nationally Recognised Training, are able to work under the operator's accreditation for an extended duration, typically 14 hours may be “worked” in any 24 hour period, rather than the 12 hours work permitted under “Standard Hours”
Drivers have the option of operating at either “Standard Hours” or “BFM Hours” and are required to document which option they are operating under on their National Work Diary.
Whilst operating under the BFM Hours option, all “work” (ie driving, loading, fuelling, inspecting the vehicle) must be recorded in the Work Diary, the 100 km radius exemption from completing the work diary does not apply when drivers are operating under the BFM Hours option.
The operator is required to have detailed procedures and processes in place to proactively manage the fatigue of all drivers, this includes processes in place to schedule driving tasks, monitor fatigue levels and driver health.
In addition, the operator must regularly review the operations of all drivers to ensure that the schedules in place are reasonable and achievable under the legislated limits and that the work completed by drivers is regularly reviewed to ensure that drivers are complying with the appropriate limits and accurately and truthfully recording all work completed in their Work Diary.