Industry News

SafeWork NSW promotes delivery vehicle compliance in lead up to Christmas

Safer working practices around vehicles being loaded, unloaded and working during the Christmas delivery rush is being promoted by SafeWork NSW.

Stage 2 of the Safety Around Your Vehicle Compliance Project is now underway as a renewed promotional push seeks to raise awareness for the risks of performing tasks around vehicles — the leading cause of non-driving serious injuries and fatalities in road transport and logistics.

During Stage 1 of the project, between 1 March to 30 August 2021, SafeWork NSW inspectors visited 327 transport and construction businesses throughout NSW, issuing 71 notices according to Tony Williams, SafeWork Executive Director.

“They focused on promoting safer working practices for transport operators when loading, unloading and working around vehicles,” he said.

“Stage 2 is extended to carry out visits across the supply chain including retail, manufacturing, and wholesale sectors. They will focus on high-risk tasks in and around heavy vehicles such as loading/unloading, forklift safety and traffic management. It will run until the end of June 2022,” said Williams.

“The period heading into Christmas and the new year break is one where businesses need to be particularly vigilant, ensuring safety is the priority. With resources stretched, the temptation can be to cut safety corners placing workers at risk which can have tragic consequences.”

SafeWork NSW have been carrying out widespread transport industry consultation to identify the highest priority risks.

Williams said that almost every week workers were getting injured while working around vehicles.

These incidents were occurring at transport depots, construction sites, distribution centres and during retail or home deliveries.

“These visits are about addressing safe loading and unloading practices, forklift safety, and promoting the separation of people, product and plant at all workplaces,” Williams said.

A number of serious incidents around vehicles have recently occurred, including an incident in August where a 19-year-old worker was stuck by a forklift and killed while collecting chickens in a poultry shed near Tamworth.

In October there was another incident where a 59-year-old crane operator sustained serious crush injuries while unloading a 2.8-tonne air conditioning unit from a truck in Thornleigh.

As the unit was lifted from the truck by the crane two slings failed, pinning him against a wall.

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