The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will now operate the North American Fatigue Management Program, a multipronged approach toward reducing the incidence of fatigue behind the wheel.
The program, known as NAFMP, was awarded to CVSA to manage after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a “sole source contract” to CVSA, according to Rodolfo Giacoman. He is the Fatigue Management Program specialist at CVSA and responded to a series of questions sent to him by FreightWaves.
CVSA consists of representatives from governmental, nonprofit and private sector organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It conducts numerous programs aimed at improving trucking safety. Its regular annual inspection blitzes, particularly International Roadcheck Week, are significant enough events that they can affect the amount of capacity on the road.
CVSA’s activities will be supervised by the NAFMP steering committee, Giacoman said. That committee consists of representatives from such groups as FMCSA, Transport Canada and the American Transportation Research Institute, which is an arm of the American Trucking Associations.
“The goal is to leverage CVSA’s events and channels of communication for increasing the NAFMP usage and solicit user feedback to improve it,” Giacoman said of one of the key reasons why CVSA was chosen to operate the program.
That existing CVSA platform was also cited in the prepared statement announcing the transfer of the program to CVSA management. “CVSA has the ideal infrastructure of events and channels of communication to foster the NAFMP,” Roger Clark, chairman of the program’s steering committee, said in the statement.
The consulting firm Longevity previously had the contract to run the NAFMP, according to a CVSA spokeswoman.
The program is not mandatory.
But CVSA is producing a wide variety of online events in the first months of 2022 aimed at improving the industry’s approach to fatigue safety. Giacoman noted they are open to the general public, not just CVSA members.
They include an introductory one-hour program Feb. 24, “A Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing a Fatigue Management Program.” Also included are five other webinars, several appearances on various programs on SiriusXM Road Dog Trucking and a fatigue-specific session at the April 4 CVSA Workshop in Bellevue, Washington, in early April.
Asked how a company would complete the NAFMP program, Giacoman pushed back against the idea that it is a curriculum. “The NAFMP is a comprehensive approach to fatigue management for two reasons: the ‘who’ and the ‘how,’” he said.
The “who” involves everyone at carriers, “from the top,” Giacoman said, citing “executives, top managers, safety and driver managers, dispatchers, and trainers.”
The “how” includes several steps that carriers should take, according to Giacoman, including developing a “fatigue management safety culture.” Giacoman pointed to a 252-page “Implementation manual” on fatigue management, which includes a nine-step process to develop that fatigue management program. It includes such things as establishing a steering committee, setting a timeline, the actual training, and continued monitoring and evaluation.
As manager of the NAFMP, CVSA will manage parts of the program on its eLearning platform.
Giacoman said there is a financial return from the fatigue management program, pointing to an online calculator the program has created to determine financial savings. He also said CVSA is looking at establishing a certification that a company can use to demonstrate it has implemented a fatigue management program, which possibly could be used to help lower insurance premiums.
In its statement announcing its selection to run the program, CVSA said the NAFMP had been developed in 2013 by scientists “through a multi-year, four-phase comprehensive process.”
Giacoman said FMCSA signed on with CVSA for one year with the option to renew the contract for up to four additional years.