Australian regulator reviews industry safety findings

Two-thirds of heavy vehicle businesses have a safety system in their operation, a survey has found.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the results of the 2020 NHVR Industry Safety Survey, with a sample size of 4,000 participants, demonstrates the ongoing commitment from the majority of industry to keep pursuing improved safety outcomes.

“We know industry has increasingly adopted and invested in improved safety practices over the last 10 years and the significant take up of Safety Management Systems continues to support better safety results,” said Petroccitto.

“Importantly, safety systems focus on a whole-of-business approach to safety including the important pre-trip check, which ensures vehicles are safe to operate on the road and that drivers are fit for duty before getting behind the wheel,” he said.

This survey, according to Petroccitto, provides a baseline result of the current safety environment that the NHVR can collectively monitor to understand trends and changes across safety practices.

“This information is critical as a Regulator to ensure we are providing the relevant and effective information and guidance industry needs to keep doing their job safely,” he said.

“The survey results, coupled with the recent results from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics showing a reduction in truck fatalities by close to 18 per cent compared to the last financial year, is pleasing to see.

“Although this survey was conducted prior to the onset of the pandemic, we’re also speaking to operators about incorporating the latest health information into their safety systems.”

Key results of the survey:

62 per cent of respondents had a basic safety system in place.
78 per cent of managers said they had an ongoing program of safety promo communication in their business, compared to 52 per cent of drivers and 71 per cent of loaders.
76 per cent of respondents agreed that relevant safety training was occurring on an ongoing basis.
The most common safety practice among owner-drivers was a vehicle inspection (97 per cent), compared to a regular personal health check-up (71 per cent), a safe driving plan (62 per cent), or keeping informed of safety issues and information (62 per cent).
The NHVR administers the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), which regulates the transport activities of more than 165,000 businesses to achieve a safe, efficient and productive heavy vehicle industry within Australia’s supply chain.

The NHVR conducted the survey in March 2020 and received responses from a wide cross section of industry employees, including drivers, managers and operators.

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