Truck safety confidential reporting line launched

The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed the establishment of a new reporting line that allows truck drivers and operators to confidentially report safety breaches.
Launched by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), the hotline will receive and assess truck safety concerns to determine what action is required.
“This reporting line is welcome news for the trucking industry, as safety is everyone’s responsibility,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said today.
“Many employees and operators, if pressed to act illegally, are worried about losing their contract so they are afraid to report breaches,” he said.
Information and breaches that can be reported include:

  • An incident or situation that affects the safety of a heavy vehicle or its operation.
  • A procedure, practice or condition that endangers the safety of a heavy vehicle driver, their passengers, other road users or the community.
  • A procedure, practice or condition that leads to non-compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and operated by Crime Stoppers Queensland.
“The knowledge that all reports will remain confidential should encourage more people to speak out and stand up for safety, without the fear of being punished,” Mr Crouch said.
“We know it happens. In 2012, for example, 17 per cent of trucking companies reported that their customers were likely to impose a financial penalty for late arrivals – a clear breach of the law.
“The first step businesses need to take if they are pressured to break the law is to talk to their customers about its requirements. The ATA/ALC master code of practice will provide customers and industry will clear guidance on how to comply,” he said.
To report a safety breach, phone 1800 931 785.
 

Driver safety is up to you: ATA

New South Wales’ peak trucking industry body, ATA NSW, has called on the trucking industry to work towards improving the safety of drivers.
 
ATA NSW chairman, Frank Johnston, said with discussions about the implementation of safe rates legislation taking place, the industry must demonstrate it is in the best position to ensure the safety of its drivers.
 
“Every responsible trucking operator knows their business relies on the well-being of their drivers,” Mr Johnston said.
 
“That’s why ATA NSW is always working to improve the safety of the trucking industry. It has been our focus from day one, and it will remain our focus into the future.”
 
Mr Johnston said ATA NSW is encouraging every trucking operator to find ways to improve the safety and well-being of their drivers.
 
“We need to change the culture of the trucking industry. We need to give drivers a voice to speak out when they feel their safety is at risk,” Mr Johnston said.
 
“Drivers know when they are being stretched, when unrealistic expectations are being placed on them. Operators need to make sure there is no punishment for drivers who speak out against unrealistic and unsafe deadlines or extra non-driving activities.
 
“Drivers should have a say in what they do. They should be involved in setting mutually acceptable arrival times and time slot durations.
 
“If operators give their drivers a say in the decision-making process, and comply with the awards that most drivers are covered by, the safety of drivers will improve dramatically.”
 
Mr Johnston also urged government to work with operators to give drivers a safer working environment.
 
“Simple things like safer roads, more rest areas and encouraging operators to invest in smarter trucks would make a huge difference to driver safety,” Mr Johnston said.
 
“The government has already implemented Chain of Responsibility legislation, which has placed the responsibility on everyone involved in the supply chain. If both the government and industry ensure there is CoR compliance on every task, safety standards will continue to improve.
 
“Driver safety is a complex issue and taking a one-step approach to the issue will do nothing. That’s why we are calling on every trucking operator and the government to work together to improve safety.”

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