In this article, Sal Petroccitto, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, looks at how safety solutions can be achieved in the trucking industry.
The dangers of speeding are well-known. It leaves drivers with less time to react to avoid a crash and there is a higher likelihood of severe injuries or tragically, fatalities.
One life lost on our roads is one too many. This is why the NHVR has focused on the dangers of speeding and speed limiter tampering as part of our engine remapping information campaign.
The recent Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics report shows about 70 per cent of fatalities involving articulated trucks occurred in speed zones of 100km/h or above.
So, our message is simple, tampering with the speed limiter in a heavy vehicle is illegal and can be deadly.
While it is a marginal group that participate in this illegal activity, there can be implications across the supply chain.
Heavy vehicle drivers, mechanics, owner operators and manufacturers each have responsibilities under the HVNL to ensure a vehicle is safe and compliant.
It’s also important all parties take responsibility for reporting any suspected illegal activity, and don’t pressure drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines.
I encourage anyone who suspects a heavy vehicle has had its speed limiter tampered with to contact the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.
By drawing attention to this illegal activity, we can better protect the health and safety of truck drivers, the supply chain, and all road users.
Improving safety with an SMS
Implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) can be one of the most effective ways of protecting and future-proofing your organisation against the risks of illegal tampering and meeting your organisation’s safety obligations.
An SMS provides a framework for safer operations, with more of the workforce engaged and taking responsibility for their own behaviour, actions and safety.
Our recently published 9 Step SMS Roadmap is a tool that’s available for all companies that make up the heavy vehicle supply chain to better manage their safety requirements.
It’s a free, practical, and scalable resource available to help any company manage risk, workplace health and safety, and training materials – all in the one place.
It also provides resources based on where a company is positioned in their SMS journey – whether they are starting out, improving on, or wanting to continuously improve their safety systems.
I understand that business needs are different, which is why businesses have the option to tailor comprehensive safety management systems or opt for a more ‘off-the-shelf’ solution.
Last year, we surveyed almost 4000 people with an SMS and found three quarters of respondents felt they received relevant safety training through their organisation’s SMS.
However, the results also showed that only around half of the heavy vehicle industry has a basic SMS in place. I’d like to see this number rise significantly, so that everyone in the industry can reap the benefits of safety-first culture.
We’ll continue to support businesses by refining our safety and compliance materials and making them available without any unnecessary cost or auditing burden.
After all, we know that arming industry with resources, tools and education will go a long way in helping improve safety for the whole supply chain.
Safety is the NHVR’s key priority, and we’ll continue to work with the industry to make Australia’s roads safe for everyone.