The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has called on the federal and state governments to address safety on major infrastructure projects by making the TruckSafe accreditation (or something equivalent), a mandatory part of construction contracts.
In an article on BigRigs.com.au, Chieft Executive of the ATA Ben Maguire spoke about the NSW Police’s inspections at Sydney’s WestConnex project and how its success examining construction trucks could be expanded,
“It was impressive to see first-hand how the NSW Police delivered such a professional intervention to raise the standards on our roads,” Mr Maguire said.
“But they shouldn’t have had to do the inspections at all. The professional, safe trucking businesses that join ATA member associations like Road Freight NSW and our safety management scheme, TruckSafe, are sick and tired of hearing reports about the small minority of unsafe trucks on the road.
He went on to remind us that Sydney has a
lot of major construction in its future and action is needed now to ensure construction trucks operate safely,
“Sydney has a decade of major infrastructure work ahead. Governments and businesses need to act now to make construction trucks safer.
“The Australian and state governments should make TruckSafe accreditation, or its equivalent, a mandatory part of construction contracts.”
TruckSafe is the industry’s safety management scheme and when businesses are part of TruckSafe they have to meet a higher standard of safety and abide by strict maintenance rules, even stricter than those required by the law.
These businesses’ trucks are regularly audited by expert auditors and Mr. Maguire highlighted how a similar accreditation could benefit businesses and their truck fleets.
He also urged trucking firms to consider joining the ATA and TruckSafe,
“Your ATA member association can keep you up to date with the safety rules and the best way to comply. There are great member benefits too, which can save you and your business money,” he said.
Mr Maguire went on to remind major construction companies that the chain of responsibility laws would be extended to include truck maintenance from mid-2018, making it their legal duty to ensure their trucks are safe on the road.
Executives of these construction companies will have a personal responsibility to ensure trucks’ safety,
“Prime contractors, consignors and consignees will have a legal duty to make sure their business practices do not result in unsafe trucks on the road,” he said.
“The executives of these businesses will have a personal due diligence obligation to make sure their business carries out this duty, backed by very high maximum penalties,” he said.