A cross-sectoral research project

Fatigue in Transport

Fatigue in Transport (FiT) is a cross-sectoral research project aiming to provide a knowledge base for the improved management of fatigue in Norwegian transport operators. The project is led by the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) in Norway. The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council (7 million NOK). It includes a doctorate project that aims to characterize fatigue as a risk in maritime accidents. 

Fatigue has been found to contribute to a substantial share of accidents involving occupational drivers, sea pilots and train drivers; its detrimental effect on vigilance is a potential threat to security operations. As recognition grows that regulation using hours-of-work legislation fails to address the problem, alternative ways of regulating and managing operator fatigue are gaining international momentum.

A particularly promising approach is for regulatory authorities to encourage the systemic management of fatigue by individual transport organisations, which are well placed to effectively design, implement and monitor measures to tackle fatigue according to the specific needs of its operators.

Some countries are attempting to do this within the framework of existing occupational health and safety legislation, where fatigue is treated as any other risk factor to be controlled within an ongoing Safety Risk Management System.

In the Australian road and international air sectors regulatory opt-outs have been offered to companies shown to demonstrate effective Fatigue Management Programmes (FMPs), which combine several complementary measures to tackle fatigue (e.g. training, schedule management or health monitoring). Despite this, the dominant regulatory approach among the road, rail and maritime sectors of EEA countries, including Norway, is still to prescribe hours-of-work.

Research activities are required to pave the way for Norwegian authorities to encourage the active systemic management of fatigue and/or uptake of FMPs by those transport organizations that need them the most. This project describes five work packages designed to provide this knowledge, and thus allow for the improved regulation and management of operator fatigue and vigilance across transport sectors. An important aim of the project is that its findings and implications are highly relevant and applicable to each of the main transport sectors (sea, road, rail and air), and as many transport forms as possible.

More background  information about project.

What are the five Work Packages?

Project aims

The overall aim is to improve the knowledge base for the regulation and management of fatigue and reduced vigilance in transport operators in Norway. The specific aims are as follows:

• To assemble across transport sectors and forms knowledge on the prevalence, causes, outcomes and management of fatigue in Norway today.

• To robustly evaluate a demonstration FMP implemented in a high-profile organisation with a large road-fleet • To chart in-depth the problem of fatigue and reduced vigilance in seafarers working on Norwegian vessels

• To provide an in-depth demonstration of how fatigue influences accident risk at sea

• To provide a tool to explain how fatgiue management measures should be selected according to different organisational contingencies

• To document the contribution of monotonous tasks and technical systems to reduced vigilance and safety and security across transport sectors in Norway.


Project manager

Ross Owen Phillips


Gaustadaleen 21
0349 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 57 38 00
E-mail: toi@toi.no