SafeWork inspectors will visit transport operators across Newcastle and the Hunter Region from this week as part of a safety campaign centred around loading, unloading and working around vehicles.
According to SafeWork Executive Director, Tony Williams, the Safety Around Your Vehicle Compliance Project aims to get SafeWork Inspectors speaking to operators about the need to have safe systems place when working around heavy vehicles.
“Almost every week we see workers getting injured, or worse, while working around vehicles, whether that’s in a transport depot, unloading on a construction site, loading at a distribution centre or making retail or home deliveries,” Williams said.
“Many of the incidents are not driving related but happen as people work around the truck or vehicle. These visits are not about driving habits, they’re about safe work practices around the vehicle. To help achieve this, we will have up to 12 inspectors visiting sites across the region.
“The visits are about addressing safe loading and unloading practices, the importance of properly immobilising heavy vehicles and promoting the separation of people, product and plant at all workplaces.
“We have been undertaking widespread transport industry consultation to identify the highest priority risks, and this is part of our response to those issues.”
This follows several serious incidents, including one in April where a worker suffered serious leg injuries when the truck she was working on rolled away from her on a property near Oberon.
In late 2020, a 50-year-old mechanic suffered fatal crush injuries in Tumut while working on the brake line of a tipper, and a 52-year-old tow truck driver was fatally crushed by a prime mover as it rolled off a tilt tray semi-trailer in Newcastle.
SafeWork NSW has also recently launched the Safety Around Your Vehicle Glove Box Guide, which can be accessed here.