The road freight transport industry is one of the highest risk industries both nationally and in New South Wales (NSW) because of the high number and rate of injury and /or fatality.
In May 2013 as part of its Focus on Industry Program, WorkCover NSW launched the Road Freight Transport Industry Action Plan 2013 (the Plan) to address this issue. This Plan targets short and long distance and bulk freight sub-sectors of the industry with interventions designed to reduce fatalities, major claims, and musculoskeletal disorders.
As part of the Plan, WorkCover NSW team members worked with industry, community and regulators to influence industry practices, achieve sustainable cost effective outcomes that aligned with the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022.
The Plan leveraged off existing relationships to share knowledge across these stakeholders improving the capability of both stakeholders and customers.
The short, medium and long term outcomes of the Plan are:
- higher levels of awareness and knowledge of work health and safety and return to work management among the road freight transport industry stakeholders
- higher levels of participation in improving existing practices, and
- higher levels of work health and safety performance and optimal return to work outcomes, respectively.
From June 2013 to December 2014 the Plan targets four key issues: onsite traffic management, manually loading/unloading trucks, driver wellness and return to work/injury management.
Solutions developed in consultation with social and regulatory partners, includes:
- targeted rebates
- safety coaching
- guidance material
- practical demonstrations of safety solutions
- sponsorships and driver wellness campaign
- communication/media awareness campaign using a case study approach, and
- an inspector visit program - providing onsite advice/ guidance, case management for high risk businesses and a follow up visit program to secure change.
The Plan was pre-evaluated in 2013 will be evaluated in 2015 through a survey of businesses and inspector feedback gathered throughout the project. Key data measures have been identified for continued monitoring for the 3 years following implementation, to determine if there is a difference over the longer term.
For more information on the Road Freight Transport Industry Action Plan 2013 and a suite of guidance materials visit the WorkCover NSW website.