An industry action plan for businesses has been launched by WorkCover NSW. The action plan is a combined effort between a coalition of organisations including WorkCover NSW, NatRoad, Australian Trucking Association NSW and a number of others.
The plan is aimed at creating better awareness and understanding of the safety issues affecting the trucking industry across Oz.
Read what Fullyloaded.com.au explained about the plan:
NSW Freight Advisory Council Chairman Ron Finemore and the General Manager of WorkCover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson, are due to help launch WorkCover’s Industry Action Plan for trucking, in Orange today.
The pair are to be joined by plan partners NatRoad, Australian Trucking Association (NSW branch), Australian Long Distance Owner Drivers Association, Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation NSW Branch, Livestock & Bulk Carriers Association, Australian Retailers Association, Transport Workers Union, Road and Maritime Services and NSW Police.
Finemore believes the partners are integral to the structure of the plan and its expected success.
“This plan provides a deeper understanding of the safety issues across our diverse industry,” Finemore says.
“By giving industry stakeholders a role in shaping the solutions, I am confident they will lead to a significant improvement in safety.”
The plan aims to focus on four key issues including “onsite traffic management systems, loading of trucks and getting in or out of trucks, return to work and injury management and driver wellness”.
According to the General Manager of WorkCover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson one of the major contributing factors to injuries and fatalities in workers is inadequate traffic management. Workers are often struck by vehicles in loading areas, a problem which requires more attention according to Watson.
Another issue that is of major concern is muscular and skeletal injuries which arise from loading and unloading trucks and getting into and out of trucks. Another area that requires attention is return to work practices in the industry.
According to the plan’s organisers by consulting with business, industry and workers, organisers have a better understanding of health and safety issues and can take action to address them. The majority of employers are small businesses while some larger employers engage independent sub-contractors to transport goods with others operating their own fleet and employing their own drivers and according to organisers these entities will be the main target of the plan.
The post went on to say:
“We also found there is a need to improve return to work practices through better understanding of the requirements and benefits of getting workers back to work as soon as possible.
The reality of the industry meant the effort needed far-ranging consultation. The industry is one of the states’ 10 highest risk industries with 5,512 injuries and illness and 29 fatalities in the three years to 2010, costing the NSW workers compensation scheme $157 million.
“The complex nature of the road freight transport industry due to contractual relationships and extensive outsourcing results in numerous parties having a responsibility for safety,” Watson says.