WorkSafe report identifies steps for improving transport safety

A cross-sector project between WorkSafe NZ and industry representatives has been established to help improve health and safety outcomes across the Transport, Postal and Warehousing sectors.

WorkSafe data also shows that in Transport, Postal, and Warehousing in 2019 there were 57 fatal crashes, 170 serious injuries and 521 minor injuries involving trucks. 147 of these vehicle-related injuries required those involved to spend more than one week away from work.

“These numbers are concerningly high, and it was clear there was some work needed to be done to try and create solutions to reduce vehicle-related risks,” says Ruth Cook, WorkSafe Engagement and Implementation Lead.

Mackie Research were tasked by WorkSafe to help find solutions to prevent these high levels of harm and have made 13 recommendations to improve vehicle-related health and safety and actively manage supply chain pressures to minimise vehicle-related risks.

WorkSafe has released the report Managing Vehicle-Related Risks From Supply Chain Pressures today.

“A collaborative approach between WorkSafe and the industry was needed to gain insight into how to improve health and safety outcomes in the transport and logistics chain.

“There was also a lack of understanding of which interventions were most likely to improve the health and safety of transport workers. This meant there was a real benefit to the cross-sector approach so that together we can achieve better health and safety outcomes for workers in these sectors,” Ruth Cook said.

The research involved reviews of existing research and initiatives, and intensive engagement with industry stakeholders. It was carried out over 11 months between April 2020 and March 2021 and was designed to build on existing and new programmes of work by industry and New Zealand government agencies.

The 13 recommendations to minimise vehicle-related harm across supply chains represent a mix of five broad, enabling initiatives, with eight targeting specific areas of focus. “We’re hopeful this research contributes to a step change in greater shared responsibility for safety by all the parties influencing the supply chain,” says Nick Leggett, Chief Executive at Road Transport Forum New Zealand.

“The research’s findings support our view that typically harm is not the result of individual

behaviour but rather the symptom of a system that is not working well.”

WorkSafe is leading the establishment of the System Group as outlined in recommendation 1 of

the report. This work has commenced.

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