Workplace Safety & Compliance


Sleep related disorders contribute to 10K workplace injuries and 25K serious road crash injuries each year1


Up to 38% of Australian truck drivers have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)1


Sleep deprivation has been linked to nuclear meltdowns, space shuttle accidents, and major oil spills2


Being tired affects motor functioning, memory, decision-making and problem-solving2

In Australia, fatigue is responsible for almost 10,000 serious workplace injuries and more than 25,000 serious road crash injuries each year, costing the Australian economy an estimated $5 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare costs.1

There is up to a 50 per cent increased risk of occupational injury, absenteeism and error or safety violation attributed to fatigue in employees with a sleep disorder, with up to 45 per cent of individuals in safety sensitive occupations such as law enforcement and commercial transportation in this category.3

According to Worksafe, driver fatigue is a major safety hazard for all drivers and The Sleep Health Foundation stated that the accident rate of shift workers is double that of non-shift workers in Australia, and that it ‘is highly likely that much of this additional risk is sleep-related.4

View Jets Law (QLD TMR) Download a Referral form



Occupations with high risk of fatigue

  • Shift workers
  • Night workers
  • Fly-in, fly-out workers (FIFO)
  • Drive in, drive out (DIDO)
  • On-call and call-back workers
  • Commercial transport operators



Known Performance Impacts

  • Reduced focus and information retention
  • Decreased problem-solving ability
  • Impacted ability to stay calm and make sound decisions under pressure
  • Lowered emotional intelligence and ability to read complex situations ​


Commercial Driver and Operator Compliance

The Austroads Fitness to Drive standards state that driving a motor vehicle is a complex task requiring perception, good judgment, responsiveness and reasonable physical capability. A range of medical conditions, as well as treatments, may therefore impair driving ability.

All drivers should be screened for a sleep disorder if they report daytime sleepiness. This cannot be relied on alone when assessing a risk of having a sleep disorder which is why seeking an appointment with a medical practitioner such as your GP or a Sleep physician to determine if a sleep study should be performed.

A full explanation and breakdown of Road Safety Fitness can be found on the Austroads website.

Visit Austroads Fitness Site


Assessing Fitness to Drive

Assessing Fitness to Drive contains two sets of medical standards – private vehicle driver standards and commercial vehicle driver standards.
The choice of which standards to apply when examining a patient for fitness to drive is guided by both the type of vehicle and the purpose for which the driver is being authorised to drive.

Visit Austroads Assessment Page


Commercial Standards Application

  • Drivers of 'heavy vehicles' i.e. those holding or applying for a licence of class MR (Medium Rigid)
  • HR (Heavy Rigid), HC (Heavy Combination) or MC (Multi-combination)
  • Drivers applying for an authority /already authorised to carry public passengers for hire or reward (bus drivers, taxi drivers, chauffeurs, drivers of hire cars and small buses etc)
  • Drivers applying for an authority / already authorised to carry bulk dangerous goods.

NOTE: A person who does not meet the commercial vehicle medical criteria may still be eligible to retain a private vehicle driver licence. In such cases, both sets of standards may need to be consulted.

Visit Austroads Standards Page


IMPORTANT. A minimum of a Level 2 Sleep Study is required for commercial operator testing and Sleep Physician consultations are mandatory for commercial drivers with a positive result for OSA.



1. Sleep Health Foundation 2016, 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults, industry report.
2. Hult International Business School (blog) "The Business of Sleep"
3. Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC), Submission 92, p. 1. 4.
4. Sleep Health Foundation, Asleep on the Job: Costs of Inadequate Sleep in Australia, 2017