Health and


Fighting fatigue

Downer has acted to reduce the risk of fatigue, particularly for road construction or surfacing activity where people are working around live traffic and large roadworks equipment.

The Road Services team in Tasmania has undertaken a trial for enhancements to fatigue management, which involved a twopart approach: education and active management.

Frontline workers attended a workshop to learn about sleep, its importance in maintaining good physical and mental health, and what gets in the way of getting ‘good’ sleep. In some cases, underlying health issues were identified during the session, and people were referred for advice and support. Supervisors also attended a workshop where they learned how fatigue affects worker safety and were given tools to protect people and intervene where necessary.

One of the tools used in the trial is an app that quickly identifies whether a person is at increased risk of harm due to fatigue. The app asks workers to answer five questions, and the short survey takes little more than 20 seconds to respond. The result is a score on the fatigue risk index. Where a worker’s answers result in a high risk rating, the app automatically sends an alert to their

supervisor, who can contact them directly to further assess their fatigue and intervene where necessary.

The app was initially tested with workers in situations that are likely to increase fatigue risk: working longer hours, working night shift, and changing from night shift to day shift.

While the app provides a great safety net, the real benefit of the trial is increased understanding of fatigue and its causes – helping our people tackle the problem at its source.

This initiative demonstrates Downer’s contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goal: #3 Good health and wellbeing.