What is an Approved Electronic Work Diary (EWD)?

In 2020 regulators passed legislation to allow for service providers to offer EWD's instead of Written Work Diaries to remove paper and administration for Transport Operators.

An NHVR approved Electronic Work Diary (EWD) is an alternative way of recording work and rest hours for Transport Operators and particularly heavy vehicle drivers as required by national heavy vehicle regulators (NHVR) and can be used in place of a Written Work Diary. It can be used on any approved device and can be classified as an electronic portable recording system as shown in detail on the NHVR website: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/fatigue-management/electronic-work-diary/overview.

EWD’s can assist with fatigue management and meeting fatigue under Chain of Responsibility (CoR) legislation, by providing accurate data and alerting drivers to potential breaches before they happen. This will significantly reduce the administrative burden in comparison to recording work and rest hours on a Written Work Diary by providing;

  • a fast and efficient way to record work and rest activities
  • an in cabin tool to proactively manage fatigue hours
  • a reduction in logbook entries and double handling data entry
  • an integrated approach to CoR including driver licensing, defect and fault reporting and driver declarations.

Using an Electronic Work Diary can be reassuring for not only yourself as a driver, but also to make life easier for the office teams including transport managers, site staff and compliance officers. 

The Facts Around Using Electronic Work Diaries 

Make sure to check if an EWD has NHVR approval and provides the best tools to make your job easy.

All approved EWD's can be validated through the NHVR website: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/fatigue-management/electronic-work-diary.  

It's important to understand exactly what you are buying due to the potential for significant contract costs and contract terms offered in the marketplace.

It is possible to purchase non-approved EWD's or partial fatigue tools that may not comply under law to remove the paper diaries from the cabin.

It is recommended that any tools purchased and used by transport managers to help manage fatigue are always checked before making a costly financial commitment, otherwise you may get caught during an audit with the wrong system and no written work diaries to validate your fatigue under law.

There are a variety of non approved fatigue management tools that can provide value to transport operators, but still require paper work diaries from drivers. These may be beneficial in some unique applications but don't provide the same value as an approved EWD. Examples to keep an eye on include:

  1. Auditing Applications to check paper diaries randomly
  2. Logbook Checkers to assess written work diary accuracy
  3. Fatigue Hours Assistants to help drivers manage fatigue in the workplace

With the recent approvals for EWD's by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and following in the footsteps of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) it's now possible to remove all of these tools for one simple application like Q by Quallogi (a Kynection Company).

Understand the true cost of ownership and the deployment convenience of using an App from IOS or Android to enable Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) for Subbies

When shopping for an approved EWD it's important to make sure you consider the true cost of ownership, taking into consideration hardware costs, software contract charges and deployment costs. As important as taking into account how easy it will be to deploy EWDs to company and external drivers and whether they will work on BYOD devices on Android and Apple smartphones or tablets.

Irrespective with every EWD system there are a number of compulsory elements that should be well understood.

  • How easy is it to deal with an officer intercept 

Every EWD has a compliance view in the application on your chosen device. Just like a written work diary the driver simply passes his device in compliance mode to the authorised officer during the intercept. The officer will review any critical breaches on display and notes for work or rest changes. In compliance mode the officer should never have access to see anything other than the compliance view.

  • Managing fatigue when an EWD is not working

In the unlikely circumstance that your EWD is not functioning correctly, because the device has failed or it has been lost or stolen you should notify NHVR within two working days and revert back to a paper diary in the meantime. A service provider that provides a downloadable application for any phone type can be used on more than one device while service providers offering hardware specific devices will require a device changeover taking more time and cost.

  • Altering an EWD after completing a shift or trip

It is possible to make alterations or fix up mistakes in an Electronic Work Diary after completing your records just like you could using a Written Work Diary. As long as you haven't confirmed your work records and all information being altered is accurate you can simply go back in and adjust accordingly. This represents the exact approach a driver takes for Written Work Diaries.

  • Recording work and rest time blocks

Approved Electronic Work Diaries do not record in 15 minute blocks like Written Work Diaries because electronic timers work in seconds and are exact. Under the standards, EWD's will record to the nearest minute creating a more accurate record of time which can provide numerous advantages to transport operators.

  • The Law around Electronic Work Diaries

To date there are no changes to the work and rest hours. Electronic Work Diaries can replace your Written Work Diary if approved by NHVR and only if they meets all the key requirements set in the detailed specification available here:

https://www.nhvr.gov.au/files/201805-0817-ewd-standards.pdf 

NHVR provides a wealth of information for EWD's, so head to the link below!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xb5CLZ7qV3ncZ1lDzkAKmWdecd6YWfl6/view

Recording Rest Hours

Calculating and counting rest hours for your Written Work Diary can be time consuming and tedious. There is also no way for a Written Work Diary to remind you when to take rest stops or alert you of any fatigue breaches. 

NHVR specifies the legislation and rules around how to count work and rest hours to help manage the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) and prevent safety breaches when driving for fatigue management. 

Counting Time:

  • Time periods are always counted forward from the end of a rest break
  • Time periods of 24 hours or longer must be counted forward from the end of a ‘relevant major rest break.
  • You must schedule night rest breaks in the relevant time zone you follow if you are changing time zones
  • All periods of time must be counted in 15 minute blocks relative to the time zone of your base
  • Work time is rounded up
  • Rest time is rounded down

Work time includes:

  • Loading and unloading the vehicle
  • Inspecting, servicing or repair work
  • Attending to the load or to passengers (on a bus)
  • Cleaning or refuelling the vehicle
  • Instructing or supervising another person including learning to drive a heavy vehicle, learning a new route, making deliveries etc.
  • Recording information or completing a document (for example your work diary)

Although these rules are in place for the benefit and safety of drivers and other vehicles on the road, they can cause stress and extra time for drivers to keep up to standards with regulations and manage Written Work Diaries. 

By using an approved Electronic Work Diary it eliminates the stress and time taken to comply with fatigue rules because the EWD can keep track of your work and rest hours for you as well as remind you of when to take rest breaks with regular alerts and real-time notifications.

Want to try an EWD? Download Q for free today!