Fatigue Calculator Survey

  • Published November 25, 2021
  • Industries

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Recently an Improvement Notice was issued by SafeWork NSW, proving what members already know: there is a fatigue problem in Ambulance. Although there is broad acknowledgement from ADHSU membership and NSWA management of the need for a fatigue management strategy, the recent fatigue calculator trial in the North Coast and Illawarra zones has proved disastrous, both for paramedics and control centre staff.

The trial was stressful and confusing for those chosen as guinea pigs, with little instruction or consultation. Some people, who filled out the calculator in good faith and have been successfully managing fatigue for years, were found to be in the red/orange zone upon arriving at work and sent home on sick leave. Many issues with the calculator were raised, including: not accounting for driving time; not tailoring to people’s ages and lifestyle; the possibility of encouraging people to lie; not accounting for other issues that contribute to fatigue; and not aligning with someone called in on overtime, who is unlikely to have had enough sleep to stay green the whole shift themselves. Several questions and scenarios were raised by Control Staff in which the calculator contradicted itself, complicating dispatch.

ADHSU members in the North Coast and Illawarra zones voted to place bans on filling out the calculator and ADHSU delegates are currently working with NSWA to find a more effective strategy moving forward. If you were part of the trial or affected by it, including members in Control, fill in this survey. It’s essential to make your voice heard to help ADHSU advocate for better fatigue management.