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Alternative fatigue management scheme (AFMS)

What is an AFMS?

The alternative fatigue management scheme (AFMS), is a risk management scheme that, once approved by the NZ Transport Agency, allows commercial transport operators greater flexibility in their operations. The AFMS was developed after consultation with industry and sleep management experts.

In an AFMS each operator develops systems and processes that manage work and rest time limits for their drivers while ensuring that fatigue is proactively managed. An AFMS may be approved to permit variations to allowable rest breaks or an extension of a cumulative work day.

Find out more about work-time requirements

An AFMS is designed and managed by individual transport operators, but must be approved by the NZ Transport Agency  before it is used by the operator. To gain approval from the Transport Agency, operators will be required to undertake a full hazard analysis, which includes documenting how they will proactively manage fatigue.

In approving an AFMS, the Transport Agency will impose conditions. These conditions will be discussed with the operator during the application process.

Why would an operator be interested in operating an AFMS?

Operating an AFMS provides a number of benefits for operators including:

  • taking a proactive approach to workplace fatigue management, assisting towards compliance with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
  • business efficiencies that include:
    • the ability to manage planned work that may exceed those prescribed in the law, eg operators running vehicles between Auckland and Christchurch being able to plan for these trips by having appropriate countermeasures in place
    • the ability to manage unplanned delays, such as stock trucks being delayed in delivering stock to a freezing works
    • improving the utilisation of vehicles and plant.

Feedback from an AFMS operator is that drivers get better sleep, balance their lifestyle and perform tasks more efficiently.

How to apply for an AFMS

Find guidelines for preparing your AFMS application