The Australian and state governments should improve safety on major infrastructure projects by making TruckSafe accreditation a mandatory part of construction contracts, the Chief Executive of the ATA, Ben Maguire, said today.
Mr Maguire joined Chief Inspector Phil Brooks yesterday (Thursday 20 July), as NSW Police and RMS officers inspected construction trucks working on the WestConnex project in Sydney.
“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.
“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 own safety management scheme. Businesses in TruckSafe have to meet tighter safety and maintenance rules than are required by law, and are audited regularly by independent, expert auditors.
Mr Maguire urged trucking businesses to join an ATA member association and consider TruckSafe accreditation.
“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 warned major construction companies that the chain of responsibility laws would be extended to include truck maintenance from mid-2018.
“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.