BENEFITS OF AN FRMS
The main benefit of an FRMS is to reduce the risk of an incident that is either caused by fatigue or where fatigue is a contributing factor.
More often, fatigue is a contributing factor. To illustrate this, let us take the example of a car driver on a principal highway seeing a bicycle rider joining the same carriageway without stopping. If alert, the car driver may judge that the bicycle rider will collide with the car and so to avoid the incident, brakes will be applied, or perhaps acceleration and swerving may be the right strategy. Either way, an alert driver can avoid and accident. If the car driver is not alert, then slow reactions and decision making processes may prevent the car driver from reacting and an accident occurs.
Fatigue was not the cause of the accident- the cause as the bicycle rider disobeying the rule of the road – but fatigue was a contributing factor else the car driver would have taken evading action. Accordingly, it is in everyone’s interests to manage fatigue levels even when going about daily life.
Implementing an FRMS accrues benefits to all stakeholders. Everyone wins.
Employees gain by having their alertness managed so they are
- more able to perform their tasks safely
- Less likely to take days off through exhaustion or sickness
- less irritable, a better team player and more fun to work and live with
- less likely to move job because they are too tired at work and too tired to enjoy a normal social life
- More likely to appreciate their employer and the organisation’s attention to their alertness. They will be glad to be working for a caring company.
This leads to greater job satisfaction, greater loyalty and more flexibility from employees in the workplace.
Safety managers gain by reducing the number of accidents and incidents as well as discovering how to manage yet another risk. The fatigue risk is just another risk to be aware of, measure and manage for Safety Managers. As it’s their job to do this, they will be more content that the organisation has gathered another element of risk into the risk management portfolio and will be pleased to have increased their performance by reducing the exposure of the company to unmanaged risk.
The CEO and organisation gain by having a more motivated and stable team. This has tangible benefits that are reflected in the bottom line
- A safer organisation with a good reputation for attracting and keeping good employees
- A good image as a solid company that customers wish to deal with
- More flexibility in the workplace leading to higher labour productivity, higher sales and lower costs
- Higher labour productivity
- Higher willingness to be flexible
- Higher duty attendance time
- Less time off for sickness or other related reasons
- Less labour unrest
- Less on the job incidents
- Less labour turnover
- Lower recruitment and training costs
- Lower management burden
- more productive line managers, fewer of them and lower costs
- Less overhead
- Less time and resource spent on non-value-added tasks
- mitigating events caused by fatigue e.g. sick staff, standby payments, management of fatigue related incidents
- lower levels of resource (cost) needed to administer HR processes
- A risk identified and managed leads to the possibility of lower insurance costs
- An acceptable Return on Investment
All of the above leads to higher sales and lower costs that result in a wider margin
In industries where safety critical occupations are exposed to fatigue related incidents, the investment in FRMS pays for itself quickly.
- Benefits to Air Crew
- Feel better, perform better, fly safer
- “The company’s recognition of our fatigue indicates we’re a team!“
- Benefits to safety manager
- Higher safety perimeter,
- another risk managed
- Regulatory compliance.
- Higher safety perimeter,
- Benefits for CEO
- A high performance workforce
- Lower risk of On the Job Injuries
- Increase flexibility and productivity
- Lower operational risk = lower insurance costs.
For anxious project managers inexperienced in FRMS and wanting a little bit of help over the first hurdle, we recommend an initial consultation that encompasses training in fatigue science and fatigue countermeasures for key stakeholders, some Roster Analysis and Gap Analysis to identify the hazards which leads to being able to scope out how to progress. This is an easy and inexpensive way to identify the scale and scope of any fatigue hazards, evaluate the best way forward and to quantify the work needed.
FRMSc can assess your operation and offer everything from an outline direction through to a fully worked up and costed project plan so that you can take that important first step with either a toe in the water or as one large stride. We recommend that clients take small steps in order to manage the while process better.
The challenge of FRMS can be daunting at the outset so planning is important to scale the resources needed and identify the benefits to be accrued. The path to implementing a full FRMS may not be clear but as one airline stated at the 2013 FRMS Forum meeting “Once you start walking, the path will become clear”
No two organisations are the same and, whilst you may work with similar challenges for your 24 hour staffing model, clearly a “one size fits all approach” is not appropriate. A “one size fits all” approach can impact a business model especially on the bottom line. Small airline operators and operators in domains other than commercial airline transportation are becoming more aware of FRM and its application but will rightly balk at the scope and cost of the kind of FRMS that is being implemented in the larger commercial passenger airline carriers. The processes and tools must be appropriate for the scale of the hazard and the type of operation in order for an acceptable return on investment to be realised.
Gaining a good understanding of what can be realistically achieved and how long that will take is the crucial first stage and something you can explore with FRMSc in person. We are a global consultancy company and can arrange to meet face to face, discuss over the phone or even conduct a Skype or Google+ video conference.
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