The University recognises that there are hazards associated with driving and particularly extended periods of driving. To that end, the University has established a policy for staff who are required to drive in the course of their duties.
The policy has been developed to provide practical guidelines in relation to minimising the hazards associated with driving. It applies to all Australian Catholic University staff who are required to drive in the course of their duties.
This policy will be made available to all users of campus vehicles. In addition it will be given to National Heads of School and managers to provide to staff who are likely to be required to drive long distances on behalf of the University. Human Resources will include a copy of the policy in the induction package for new staff.
Supervisors should give consideration, in particular, to travel time when requiring staff to undertake duties off-campus, including the distance the staff member travels from home to the first job, and at the end of the day from the last visit to home. They should ensure work is planned to allow staff to have a minimum ten hour break.
2.1 Safe Driving Practices and Planning
Planning for driving long distances (~2 hours) is required by the driver. Planning should include:
Allowing to have a break every 2 hours, or more often if symptoms of fatigue are present;
Allowing adequate time to arrive at the destination without having to rush; and,
Ensuring that adequate nutrition and hydration is maintained to avoid the onset of fatigue.
Checking environmental conditions in which the employee will be driving, e.g. rain, fog, flooding, black ice. Extra time should be allocated where hazardous environmental conditions may be encountered.
Driving behaviour should be modified to suit environmental conditions. Work programs should not take precedence over staff safety. Supervisors must assist by:
Giving consideration to travel time when planning off-campus visits, including the distance the staff member travels from home to the first job, and at the end of the day, from the last visit to home;
Rostering so that driving within the usual hours of sleeping (10pm to 5am) is avoided as much as possible;
Ensuring work is planned to allow staff to have a minimum 10 hour break;
Monitoring staff duties to identify if excessive working/driving hours are building up and to discuss with staff work planning, excessive hours and driver fatigue.
All staff members who drive in the course of their employment must have a current Driver’s License and produce this in accordance with guidelines for the use of motor vehicles.
Driving when fatigued can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Staff members should not drive if they have been awake continuously for more than 16 hours. At that point, response rates are seriously reduced, even though other symptoms of fatigue may not be present.
Drivers should be aware of the symptoms of fatigue and be able to recognise their onset.
Where symptoms of fatigue are present, the driver should, as a minimum, take a rest break, stretch and have a drink of water prior to resuming the journey. A “power nap” may be appropriate.
Towards the end of the working day, where there is still considerable driving required (over 2 hours), and the symptoms of fatigue are present, the driver is encouraged to seek overnight accommodation and continue the journey the following day.
2.4 Hazardous Driving Areas
Where hazardous driving conditions exist due to activities undertaken at a location, or because of environmental conditions, drivers of vehicles should take particular care.
Those areas identified as hazardous include:
Regions prone to heavy fog
Regions prone to black ice
Regions prone to animals on the road
Drivers are encouraged to maintain a zero alcohol level and required to observe road laws in relation to alcohol consumption prior to driving.
2.6 Vehicle Safety
All campus vehicles purchased meet Australian Design Guidelines and relevant Australian Standards, and are fitted with appropriate safety features such as ABS brakes and air bags.
Drivers are required to comply with the servicing schedule of the vehicle manufacturer. Further information on vehicle servicing is obtained from Campus Operations.
All vehicle faults or defects should be reported immediately in accordance with campus vehicle guidelines for use of vehicles.
2.7 Mobile Phones
Mobile phones should only be used by drivers in vehicles with a hands-free kit.
3. Policy Review
The University may make changes to this policy and procedures from time to time to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about this Policy may forward their suggestions to the, Human Resources Advisory Service.
4. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this Policy should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further advice be required staff should contact the Human Resources Advisory Service, HR@acu.edu.au or extension 4222.