Fenner sets its sites on fatigue management

Fatigue management

The program provides Fenner employees with a way of managing fatigue.

Safety is at the forefront of everything Fenner does. Following a big safety win at the prospect awards earlier this year, the company has put its focus on managing fatigue within its employee network.

Fenner Conveyors can manufacture and supply complete conveyor systems from head-to-tail – all done in-house. Where the company is really shining its competitive advantage though, is its commitment to safety.

At Fenner, employee health and safety rates are the prime objective, and the company has launched an industry- leading fatigue management program to ensure its workers are safe.

Fenner Conveyors general manager – safety, training and technical Vicki Wust said the program is a revision of the fatigue management standard.

“We’ve implemented a mobile app using a QR code, there is an education program, and we’re also monitoring via live timesheet data from payroll that cross matches to the mobile app data,” Wust said.

“This includes journey management plans, not just fatigue risk assessment.”

The program provides employees with a way of managing fatigue while in the field, by conducting risk assessments without needing to log into a computer.

“The QR code can be scanned straight from a smartphone camera. So, that means that no matter where our people are in the field, whether up in the Pilbara or in remote parts of the East- Coast, they’re always able to check their fatigue,” Wust said.

“The app eliminates the paper-based side of things, and immediately notifies the supervisor if the employee completes the assessment with a risk rating.”

Fenner OHS advisor Kyle Graham told Safe to Work the company started the design in September 2021 following a near miss incident where the root cause was determined to be fatigue.

“Our Mackay Branch trialled the application during the remainder of 2021, and with feedback gathered fortnightly from our people, we were able to fine- tune the functionality of the application,” he said. “Our aim was to make it as user friendly as possible, so engaging our workforce during the development and soft trial period was key the success of the application.”

The first phase is to rollout the program within Fenner nationwide, with further plans to expand to other companies within the Michelin group.

Alongside the mobile app is an eLearning platform, and the first month of the rollout will be focused on communicating the elements of the new program.

Fenner considered adopting existing fatigue management programs into its processes, however the company concluded that the programs didn’t meet all the requirements for the industry.

“Both of those workforces are so unique, and the standard ‘off-the- shelf’ programs, so to speak, weren’t meeting our needs. So that’s why we’ve gone ahead and developed our own,” Wust said.

Wust recently won the Safety Advocate of the Year Award at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards for her work with Fenner, and this program is another step further confirming Fenner’s commitment to safety in the industry.

“With this fatigue monitoring process, we’re targeting certain key areas to mitigate risk,” Wust said.

“With the make-up of our workforce – whether they’re working remotely, doing lots of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work, or drive- in drive-out (DIDO) – it is what we see as one of our critical risk protocols that we really need to now focus on and take our employees on the journey to managing their own fatigue.”

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