Transport and logistics labour hire case study

This case study shows how agencies and hosts can be proactive in identifying and managing employee's workplace fatigue.

Background

A small removalist company uses casual labour hire employees to operate vehicles during peak periods.

Issue

A supervisor overheard a labour hire employee heavy-vehicle driver talking about night-shift work and interstate trips. On enquiry, the driver explained that he often worked extra shifts as he is employed by several labour hire agencies.

The supervisor enquired with other casual drivers and determined that most are registered with multiple labour hire agencies.

The supervisor contacted her manager to express concern that drivers of heavy vehicles could be working dangerously long hours across multiple shifts with different agencies, without enough breaks, which could result in a risk to health and safety due to the drivers being fatigued.

Next steps

The host employer recognised that employee fatigue poses a significant risk and met with all of the labour hire agencies to present drafted questions for inclusion in their recruitment programs to ensure employees understand and can identify, manage and report fatigue.

Outcome

The labour hire agencies redesigned their induction programs for all casual heavy-vehicle drivers to include fatigue management training, and introduced refresher training to be delivered annually. They also conducted a review of heavy vehicle driver logbooks (work diaries) for those that worked under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (applicable in Victoria). The logbooks are completed digitally and provided information to the agency about record keeping and standard hours for drivers.

The host introduced a daily reminder system and an employee declaration from to be completed prior to each shift. The system reminds casual employees of the hazards and provides an opportunity to report any fatigue-related issues proactively.

Agency improvements

  • Provide induction and training relating to fatigue management.
    • Meet with the host employer regularly to discuss any issues or concerns that have come up regarding the health and safety of the labour hire employees.

      Host improvements

      • Provide induction, training, and information relating to fatigue management.
        • Ensure labour hire employees understand how they can raise health and safety issues at work, such as via their Health and Safety Representative.
          • Consult with the agency on OHS matters, and provide points of contact for health and safety between the organisations.