Ensuring workplace safety is a challenge. Whether your drivers are at the wheel of a local service vehicle or maneuvering a large tanker through a remote worksite, being on the road creates risk. Findings from Safe Work Australia show that workplace deaths in the transport sector rose 16% to 55 between 2014 and 2015, making it the nation’s most dangerous workplace. These statistics are an important reminder of the ongoing need for the industry to continue improving its safety record.
Aiming to define a new level of best practice for the transport industry, TruckSafe Australia has revamped its entry standards. It has now added on-road compliance to its existing accreditation modules – maintenance, training, fitness for duty and driver health and management.
GPS tracking devices have made it easier for transport operators to develop responsible work practices, provide well maintained vehicles and ensuring drivers are fit for duty. All of which are essential for earning TruckSafe accreditation. Through the correct use of GPS fleet tracking, you can raise the bar when it comes to being a safe trucking business:
This new module aims to ensure that as a trucking operator, you meet your obligations. These include mass, dimension and load restraint, speed management, driving hours and fatigue. Australia’s increasingly regulated environment puts the spotlight on compliance like never before. This doesn’t have to be an endless road of paperwork and duplicate data filing. Automated provide accurate compliance data to help ensure your drivers are taking adequate breaks, that your vehicles are properly maintained and that they are correctly loaded. With real-time insight, you can respond immediately when breaches occur.
All vehicles must be kept in a safe and roadworthy condition. Failing to carry out timely maintenance not only results in serious faults, but has a large impact on the operational efficiency of your business. Having assets parked up for unscheduled repairs, or having to replace them, quickly eats into hard-earned profits. Telematics software enables you to schedule every vehicle for maintenance based on running hours, ensuring you don’t under or over service. With real-time visibility into the condition of your fleet, you can take preventative measures or fix problems before your driver has even left the yard.
Providing proper safety training for operators and drivers is crucial to ensuring a safe workplace. A key change to this existing standard is the introduction of a practical driving assessment as part of a driver’s induction. It’s your responsibility to develop driver skills, and this goes beyond a one-off entrance exam. You need to promote improved driver performance at all times. This is where GPS tracking software comes in – with driver behavioural data at your fingertips, you can monitor everything from speeding to stop-sign violations and harsh braking. This allows you to target relevant drivers and provide feedback on their performance, so they can make corrections in real time.
Fitness For Duty And Driver Health
The Work Health and Safety Act imposes a duty of care on businesses to ensure the safety of their drivers in a company vehicle, which is considered a workplace. At the start of each journey, drivers must confirm that both they and their vehicles are fit for purpose. With the right fleet management system, drivers can go through a pre-defined checklist to ensure their vehicle is fit to be on the road. This helps guarantee compliance with TruckSafe’s fitness for duty standards and the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) rules.
Do you have a documented business system covering each of the standards? You need a way to instantly notify drivers of new and updated documents that are legally or operationally required in the cab. These include permits, safe driving plans, job dispatch information and accreditation. Ensuring all of these documents are valid and up to date is an ongoing challenge for back-office staff. Storing paperwork electronically reduces administration and makes it easy to share documents.
TruckSafe’s reshaped safety modules mark a significant commitment to improving workplace safety for transport companies across Australia. Auditing in line with these new standards will commence from 1 January 2017, so now is the time to start implementing them and ensure driver safety is your number one priority.
“We have seen huge changes in the trucking industry and improvements to our safety record over the years, and it is important for us and our members to continue to keep up with these changes." Justin Fleming, General Manager, TruckSafe Australia.