Building the right safety habits in the construction industry

As we continue our operation this month, I want to talk directly to our construction industry about the importance of safety and compliance on our roads.

The construction industry is integral to infrastructure projects right across the country, and ensuring safety across these sites and when vehicles move to and from them, is important in keeping all road users safe.

Over a four-week period, the NHVR will focus on your industry across NSW, Qld, Vic, SA, ACT, and Tas, aiming not just to enforce, but to educate and encourage better safety practices.

When we undertook a similar operation last year, we saw an overall compliance rate against the Heavy Vehicle National Law of 56.4 per cent.

Our main goal was to check heavy vehicles involved in the construction industry for compliance of mass, dimensions, loading and vehicle maintenance.

One particular concern I want to raise is mechanical compliance; particularly concerning issues with the mechanical condition of vehicles built before 2010.

We recognise a large portion of our industry are taking their responsibilities seriously, but there’s still some work to be done and an important reminder needed for those operating older vehicles that regular scheduled maintenance is essential.

We’ve seen the difference proactive safety measures can make; not just in preventing incidents, but in building a culture that values safety above all.

It’s about doing the right thing – not just when someone is watching, but every day.

In the construction industry, hazards traditionally include loads not being properly restrained and vehicles exceeding mass or dimension limits.

These may seem like standard risks, but they are amplified – particularly on a construction site – by time pressures, constant loading and unloading, and the frequency of travel alongside other motorists on major roads and thoroughfares.

Simple steps like regular vehicle maintenance checks and ensuring your loads are properly secured within legal limits can help ensure best practice.

For companies, managing safety risks within your organisation can avoid financial loss for the business, evade legal sanctions, enhance business reputation, and most importantly, prevent injuries or fatalities. It’s about creating a culture where informed safety decisions are always made.

With the support of police in local areas, the operation aims to ensure compliance across our important construction sector and ensure that all road users are safe.

But let me be clear: this operation isn’t about pointing fingers. It’s about working together to ensure our roads are safer for both cars and heavy vehicles, today and into the future.

With an emphasis on education, the reason for the operation is clear. Safety. It’s about working together to ensure our roads are safer for both cars and heavy vehicles, today and into the future.

Let’s show that we’re not just committed to getting the job done, but to doing it safely.

  • Paul Salvati is NHVR’s chief operations officer.

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