The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling on Sika Australia to ‘Keep them Open’, after confirmation the company is refusing truck driver access to on-site toilet facilities.
The refusal was first reported to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, who were then told by Sika Australia that external parties are not allowed to use toilets on any of their sites, and that it was not possible to implement additional cleaning measures.
Mr Maguire said the ATA has confirmed the reports with Sika, who have dismissed the issue.
“Sika have told us they can’t segregate facilities on-site and that drivers should just use a nearby service centre or a council toilet. This is not good enough,” Mr Maguire said.
“Surely when the trucking industry is already under so much duress, and providing so much for the community, available facilities should be enhanced rather than reduced.
“Instead of turning away hardworking drivers, Sika should, as a minimum, have a formal arrangement with the service centre and directions for drivers in place. They need to treat drivers with the same respect they would expect for themselves,” he said.
Mr Maguire said it was a breach of basic human rights to deny truck drivers access to toilet facilities.
“The road and rest areas are a truck driver’s workplace. In this country, in the year 2020, in a modern society, where can we honestly expect professional men and women servicing our nation to toilet themselves in a 12-hour shift,” Mr Maguire said.
“Sika must remember that without hardworking truck drivers bringing goods onto their site, they wouldn’t be able to keep their company going. They depend on truckies,” he said.
Mr Maguire’s calls are part of the ATA’s Keep them Open campaign, which urges businesses across the country to ensure their facilities are accessible to truck drivers.
As part of the campaign, the ATA worked with Safe Work Australia through ACCI to upgrade its official guidance about how to clean facilities.
“I would encourage Sika Australia and every other customer site operator to read and implement the Safe Work Australia guidance, which is clear, straight forward and has all the information you need,” Mr Maguire said.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.