The road transport industry involves transporting freight by road and operating buses and taxis to transport passengers.  

The road transport industry has a high number of work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses. As a person conducting a business or undertaking you have a duty to keep workers safe from the risks associated with road transport. 

WHS duties  

Everyone in the workplace has WHS duties under the model WHS Act.  

You have specific duties if you are: 

  • a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) 
  • a principal contractor 
  • a designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier and installer of plant, substances or structures 
  • an officer. 

The model WHS Regulations have duties that apply to road transport. This includes managing risks of powered mobile plant, hazardous manual tasks and falls from height.  

As a PCBU, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable:  

  • ensure the health and safety of workers and others at your workplace  
  • consult with workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking and who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a health and safety matter, and 
  • consult cooperate and coordinate activities with all other relevant duty holders. 

Managing risks 

As a PCBU, you should manage risks by following a systematic process of: 

  • identifying hazards—find out what could go wrong and what could cause harm. 
  • assessing risks —understand the harm each hazard could cause, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. 
  • controlling risks—implement the most effective control measures that are reasonably practicable in the circumstances. 
  • reviewing control measures to ensure they are working as planned. 
  • ongoing consultation with workers. 

Some of the most common road transport hazards are: 

  • time pressures 
  • shift work, fatigue and physical fitness 
  • poor vehicle design   
  • manual handling of heavy weights 
  • working at height 
  • exposure to gases and fumes. 

Supporting information