A Macquarie University report has revealed the top layer chain-of-responsibility parties within the transport industry’s regulatory mechanisms that need to change in order to improve on the sector’s high fatality rate.
A Transport Workers Union safety summit in Sydney on February 3rd was the launch site for the 139-page report which highlights the road freight industry has the highest fatality and serious injury rate of any industry in Australia. The report strongly emphasised that road crash fatalities represented “a comparatively small subset of the hundreds of permanently disabling, and thousands of serious injuries sustained by truck drivers each year.”
The report says meaningful analysis of truck driver health and safety must look beyond fatal crashes to acknowledge also and consider the numerous on-road and off-road incidents that lead to life-changing damage to workers.
Macquarie University associate Professor Louise Thornthwaite and Dr Sharron O’Neill from University of NSW who wrote the report, suggest policymakers “Build the focus on regulatory mechanisms that reach most effectively into the top layers of the CoR to influence the design of safe, healthy and productive work and thus provide the most just solutions.”
The two experts say the bottom end of the chain – the drivers – as receiving substantial sanctions for safety breaches, but their dependence on others higher up the chain produce little deterrence.
The TWU says the report reveals truck driving is Australia’s deadliest job because of the long hours, pressure to adhere to unsafe deadlines and carrying unsafe loads, plus the lack of channels to voice safety concerns out of fearing job loss.
Thornthwaite and O’Neill’s report also underscores the federal government’s April 2016 abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and the safety gap created as a result, according to the union.
This article was sourced through OHSalert.com.au