Fatigue Improvement Programme


Fatigue Improvement Programme – Wake Up to Revised Fatigue Management

Network Rail’s culture of complex rostering, shift working and long working hours makes fatigue a high-risk factor. The Fatigue Improvement Programme is working to reduce the number of fatigue related accidents and injuries at Network Rail through better planning, improved employee wellbeing, improved understanding and awareness of fatigue and better management of the associated risks.

There is no single scientific definition of fatigue but it is accepted that fatigue is generally a feeling of extreme tiredness and being unable to perform work effectively. It is a state of impairment that can result from prolonged working, heavy workload, insufficient rest and inadequate sleep, and can include mental and /or physical elements.

Managing Fatigue is everyone’s responsibility. Our aim is to ensure everyone working for Network Rail and working on Network Rail’s infrastructure understands Fatigue, and are provided with tools and education to manage their fatigue risk.

The Fatigue Improvement Programme, will see the introduction of a revised Fatigue standard which is being released in a modular approach from October 2018 to December 2019, with a compliance date of October 2022. The revised fatigue standard (v6) NR/L2/OHS/003, applies to everyone within Network Rail and those working on Network Rail infrastructure. Previously v5 of the standard only covered safety critical staff.

On this page, we have provided a host of information such as communication material, safety hours, awareness briefings, event information etc to support the cascade of information throughout the organisation. Please do download and cascade our communication material within your teams.

We have also included some fatigue videos for awareness too. These are:

  • Fatigue General Awareness- this film provides an awareness of fatigue, signs and causes. Giving a general introduction to the subject. Target Audience is for all staff.
  • Fatigue Awareness for (Network Rail) Managers- this film provides additional guidance for Network Rail line managers, to recognise and manage fatigue in their staff.. nb some of the guidance shown in film refers to NR internal procedures/processes.
  • Fatigue Awareness for Drivers- this film provides additional guidance for staff that drive on behalf of Network Rail. nb some of the guidance shown in film refers to NR internal procedures/processes.


You will also find some reference material for Fatigue:

Why are we improving our fatigue management?

  • Fatigue is a high risk in Network Rail, due to complex rostering, shift working and long working hours,
  • The industry has suffered from a number of incidents and accidents, since 1988 there have been 52 fatalities and 612 persons injured where fatigue was noted as a contributory factor,
  • To provide a safer workforce and a safer railway for passengers
  • We care about everyone’s health and wellbeing and want you to be as safe as possible,
  • We want to improve the way we support and educate our workforce.

What is going to change?

  • Improved Fatigue risk management.
  • Publication of a revised fatigue standard which will cover all persons working on our infrastructure.
  • Introduction of trigger points for fatigue risk management, resulting in fatigue management discussions and plans at group or individual levels.
  • Education for Network Rail employees to raise awareness of fatigue, notice the signs of fatigue and tools to effectively manage it.
  • Improved work life balance.

When will these changes be published and come into effect?

How will the changes be implemented?

  • Publication of the modules within the standard
  • Change Impact Assessments to be conducted across the business,
  • Educational support and tools will be developed,
  • Enabling activities to assist the readiness and transition period,
  • Strengthened assurance, compliance and investigation protocols.


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