Health and safety digital information kit released

The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) has released a practical guide for supporting both transport operators and heavy vehicle drivers in delivering targeted health and safety initiatives.

Based on findings and key learnings captured during the implementation of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports project, the Digital Information Kit includes simple steps in how to make changes either as individuals or across a workforce that can result in improved health and safety outcomes.

Commissioned by the partnering organisations, QTA and the Port of Brisbane (PoB), the Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports project was funded under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2018-19. The project included a 12-month pilot in which two core safety factors were addressed – people and place.

This practical guide explains the steps on how to deliver people-based health initiatives that encourage safer driver behaviour, as well as ways to support the implementation of fatigue-monitoring technology in the workplace. 

Health and wellbeing: The people factor 

The project delivered more than 970 free health and wellbeing initiatives to the road transport industry, based in and around the Port of Brisbane precinct, including:

  • skin checks
  • flu vaccinations
  • heart and health assessments
  • seated massage
  • financial health

These are proven and cost-effective ways for drivers and operators to make health and wellbeing changes, individually or in the workplace. 

The Digital Info Kit outlines the steps undertaken to run each of these sessions, indicative costs and things to consider when setting up a similar initiative in the workplace.

Having these types of preventative measures in place not only benefits employee health, it demonstrates a business-wide safety focus and improves workplace culture. 

The results of the project also captured the importance of taking visible action, with even the smaller activities generating interest and ongoing conversation about safety relating to personal health and wellbeing.

The place factor

The place factor looked at how emerging technologies can be used in the workplace. For our industry, this is in and around heavy vehicles. The focus of the project was to look at wearable fatigue monitoring technology, with SmartCap being selected for the pilot.

Across the 12-month implementation, a total of 75 transport operators from across seven companies participated.

Over more than 18,000 driving hours, the project’s top three findings were:

Self-managing fatigue as a result of an early warning system works. The common interventions include eating an apple or shifting posture. 

Fatigue alarm rates increased by 565 per cent when in a queue, so drivers and operators should plan for these to be fatigue hot-spots and put additional systems in place to support driver alertness. 

More awareness about ‘eyes open’ microsleeps is needed, as these are invisible and occur before every ‘eyes closed’ microsleep.

The Digital Info Kit expands on these findings as well as offering insight into “what worked and what to improve” in the rollout of the new technology over a 12-month duration. This behind-the-scenes view gives workplaces actionable ways to improve the adoption of any type of technology or change in the workplace.

To view and download the Health and Safety Digital Information Kit: Practical steps for your workplace, click here.

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