Industry News

NSW Government focuses on delivery driver safety

Draft guidelines have been released for industry consultation to provide better protection for workers in the food delivery industry.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said the new guide is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all employees.

“The gig economy is a new and rapidly growing sector,” said Anderson.

“We’ve developed these strategies in partnership with industry to help food delivery operators, drivers and restaurants understand their obligations under NSW Work Health and Safety Legislation.

“These laws apply to all workers and all workplaces to ensure safety. The fast growth of the gig economy has created uncertainty and confusion in the sector about what each party should be doing to comply with the law and what protections should be in place, particularly when it comes to food delivery riders who are independently contracting to the big platforms.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility and this guide clarifies the role of the platform operator, the rider and the restaurant to ultimately make the gig economy a safer workplace and to save lives.”

The guidelines outline existing hazards in the industry, such as poorly maintained bikes, fatigue and extreme weather conditions, and the actions that must be taken by delivery platforms, drivers and restaurants to mitigate these risks.

“I won’t leave anything to guess work when it comes to safety,” said Anderson.

“The guidelines are about making sure that industry participants understand how the legislation we have in place applies to them, to ensure that our laws protect every worker in this state.

“We will continue to consult with industry on the draft guidelines, with a view to finalising them for inclusion into an Industry Safety Action Plan for release in April.”

The guidelines have been developed by the Gig Economy Joint Taskforce, led by SafeWork NSW and Transport for NSW. The Taskforce was established to investigate a number of food delivery rider fatalities.

Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, said everyone has the right to go to work and feel safe.

“Any life lost on our roads is one too many. We know these food delivery riders are some of our most vulnerable road users,” said Constance.

“We want to do everything we can to guarantee they have the proper protections in place and ensure a day at work doesn’t end in tragedy.

“These guidelines outline existing hazards in the industry including poorly maintained bikes, fatigue and extreme weather conditions. Delivery platforms, drivers and restaurants must follow this guide to mitigate these dangers.”

The Taskforce’s Final Report and recommendations are due to be provided to Government in April.

In other news, last year, Coles and Transport Workers Union signed a charter on standards in road transport and the gig economy.

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