24Hr emergency line +44 (0)20 8476 4099
Join Balpa

Croydon tram crash demonstrates dangers of fatigue across transport industry

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) says today’s final report on the 2016 Croydon tram crash serves as ‘a stark warning’ to the danger fatigue poses in transport.

The investigation report released today cites that the tram crash “temporarily lost awareness” and that a possible explanation for this is that “the driver had a microsleep, and that this was linked to fatigue”.

The UK pilots’ association has called for more to be done across the industry to mitigate fatigue.

Recommendations from the report include the need for improvements to safety management systems, particularly encouraging a culture in which everyone feels able to report their own mistakes.

This so-called ‘just culture’ is something the aviation world has led on, and underpins safe operations around the world, but which is constantly under threat from commercial pressures and harsh employers.

BALPA says the industry needs to do everything it can to protect and preserve this vital safety underpinning.

BALPA Head of Flight Safety, Dr Rob Hunter, said:

“The terrible events in Croydon in November 2016 serve as stark warning to the dangers of fatigue in safety critical roles.

“BALPA has worked extensively in this area in terms of aviation, and our members continue to tell us that fatigue is the biggest threat to flight safety.

“Encouraging a culture of reporting fatigue across the transport industry is vital to the safety of the travelling public.”