November 1, 2018

TSB Cites Pilot Fatigue As Major Concern


The TSB released their fifth annual watchlist this week, identifying pilot fatigue as one of the seven key safety issues faced by Canada’s transportation sector. The issue of fatigue was common across all modes, according to the TSB, including the Air, Marine and Rail sectors.

“At the TSB we recognize that fatigue can affect performance. We see it in one investigation after the other, across all modes of transportation,” says TSB Chair Kathy Fox.

Watchlist 2018 identifies actions the TSB believes are necessary to effectively address the issue. The document states that “…fatigue management requires, at a minimum, adequate duty-time regulations based on fatigue science, fatigue management plans that are tailored to company operations, and awareness training for employees and managers to help them prevent fatigue and know how to mitigate the symptoms before an accident happens.”

Fox went on to say, “Transport Canada, operators, unions, and employees all share the responsibility for preventing and managing fatigue at work. This also calls for a profound change in attitudes and behaviours, both at the management and operational levels.”

Commenting on the report’s release, Transport minister Marc Garneau said, “The Transportation Safety Board plays a very important role in ensuring that Canada’s transportation sector remains one of the safest in the world, and I welcome the publication of their 2018 Watchlist”.

In a statement issued by Garneau, he went on to cite a recent meeting held jointly with McGill University last June to address pilot fatigue. “The Fatigue Forum in Transportation brought together participants from all modes, stakeholders, and academic experts on fatigue science to discuss risks and best practices relating to fatigue management. Transport Canada continually examines existing fatigue management requirements to determine if amendments are required to update the regime and works in partnership with key federal partners and stakeholders in developing any options. The department is proposing new pilot fatigue rules to make air travel safer for Canadians, with the intent of publishing the final regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in 2018.”

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