This procedure is governed by the Work Health and Safety, and Wellbeing (WHS&W) Policy.
This procedureapplies to all Australian Catholic University staff, including contractors and labour hire, who are required to drive while working at the University and should be made available to all users of campus vehicles. In addition, it should be applied by all staff that are required to drive as part of their work activities.
3.1 Safe Driving Practices and Planning
Drivers should develop plans whenever they are planning to drive long distances (>=2 hours) and should consider flying whenever they are required to take longer trips i.e. more than four hours.
The following considerations should inform these plans:
Taking time to familiarise themselves within a different vehicle prior to commencing the journey;
Adjust the seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear;
Taking rest breaks every 2 hours and more frequently whenever symptoms of fatigue are experienced;
Allowing adequate time to reach the destination;
Ensuring that adequate nutrition and hydration is maintained to avoid the onset of fatigue;
Assessing the environmental conditions for the trip e.g. rain, fog, flooding, black ice; and
Allocating extra time whenever hazardous environmental conditions may be encountered.
Driving behaviour should be modified to suit environmental conditions and work programs should not take precedence over staff safety. Staff driving ACU branded-cars should act in line with the University’s Code of Conduct for all staff.
3.2 Nominated Supervisors and Managers
Nominated Supervisors and Managers should give particular, consideration to travel time when staff are required to perform duties off-campus, including the distances and time which staff will need to travel from their 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.
Nominated Supervisors and Managers should also assist by:
Rostering - so that driving within the usual hours of sleeping (10pm to 5am), is avoided as much as possible;
Offering staff, who drive as part of their role, the opportunity to attend a defensive driving course to increase their capability to handle difficult road conditions;
Ensuring work is planned to allow staff to have a minimum 10-hour break; and
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 during their employment must have a current Driver’s License and produce this prior to using motor vehicles for work activities.
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 as fatigue seriously reduces response rates, even when other symptoms of fatigue may not be present.
Drivers should be aware of the symptoms of fatigue and be able to recognise their onset. Whenever the symptoms of fatigue are present, drivers should, as a minimum, take a rest break, stretch and have a drink of water prior to resuming the journey and consider taking a “power nap”.
Staff are encouraged to find overnight accommodation and continue their journey, during the following day, whenever they are experiencing fatigue at the end of the working day and they are unlikely to complete their trip within two hours.
6. Hazardous Driving Areas
Whenever hazardous driving conditions are experienced, drivers should take care.
Those areas identified as hazardous include:
Regions prone to heavy fog;
Regions prone to black ice; and
Regions prone to animals on the road.
7. Alcohol and Drugs
Drivers are encouraged to maintain a zero-alcohol level and required to observe road laws in relation to alcohol and drug consumption. Staff should not take prescription medication, prior to/during journeys, which impacts upon their driving ability and/or results in drowsiness.
8. 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 should comply with the servicing schedule of the vehicle manufacturer and all vehicle faults or defects should be reported immediately.
9. Mobile Phones
Mobile phones should only be used by drivers in vehicles with a hands-free kit.
10. Revisions made to this Procedure
Major, Minor or Editorial
New procedure developed from WHS Driver Safety Policy (to be rescinded).
The University may make changes to this procedure from time to time to improve its effectiveness. If any staff member wishes to make any comments about this procedure, they should forward their suggestions to Human Resources.
11. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this procedure should first consult their Nominated Supervisor or Manager who is responsible for applying the University’s WHSMS within their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.