Safe Work Australia is now suggesting and pushing for more amount of work to be done in order to improve safety among the workers involved in the trucking industry, after the release of reports which detail the number of fatalities that are truck-related.
According to the 2003 to 2012 report of Work-Related Fatalities Which Involve Trucks, more than 780 workers were killed over the period of ten years in incidents which are truck-related.
These deaths included truck drivers who died from vehicle crashes and individuals who were working around or on a truck during the time of the event.
According to Safe Work Australia, an average of 50 truck drivers are being killed every year, while 28 others die in accidents which involve trucks.
Ann Sherry, chair of Safe Work Australia, describes the abovementioned statistics as alarming, adding that they need to do more in order to the guarantee the safety of these workers, at the same time reducing the fatalities.
She says that each year, around 80 workers are being killed while working around or in a truck.
Sherry notes that not only are the figures disquieting, but the fact is that almost 40 percent of these people die in crashes from single vehicle trucks. While data shows that overspeeding is one of the conditions that cause a few of the fatalities, many of them also have unknown causes. However, they are also considering that lack of concentration and fatigue may also be factors which play huge roles in these deaths.
The said report also enumerates the different measures which Safe Work Australia believes will help in the safety of these workers, which include reducing the driver’s fatigue and the use of proper speed for certain conditions, while ensuring that all the vehicles are being properly maintained and that all their cargo is secured.
Aside from that, the report emphasises on the need to increase awareness among members of the public and pedestrian workers regarding falls from working at heights.
Sherry says that if we focus on these areas, we are also working on improving the occupational environment among the general public, people whose work involve trucks, and the drivers themselves.
The said report also reveals some initiatives being taken in order to improve safety. Many of them are already underway, being done through the NTC (National Transport Commission) and other government agencies.
Working hand in hand with the NHVR (National Heavy Vehicle Regulator), the NTC is now identifying methods in order to work on the improvement of roadworthiness of heavy vehicles. The agency is also finalising its review and guidelines that should be followed by heavy vehicles, hoping to advance safety by promoting telematics.
Safe Work South Australia is also working on auditing transport operators from SA in order to make sure that operators comply with the requirements.
Furthermore, the Victorian Work Cover Authority is also conducting several roadside inspections which cover dangerous goods, load binding, manual handling, working at heights and vehicle maintenance.