Trucks at the Nolan Interstate Transport depot in Gatton, Queensland.
Trucks at the Nolan Interstate Transport depot in Gatton, Queensland.

TruckSafe won’t compensate on safety

AN initiative by industry, for industry, the Australian Trucking Association's TruckSafe accreditation scheme has been improving the safety and professionalism of trucking operators nationwide since 1990.

With no other road transport accreditation scheme being as comprehensive or robust, TruckSafe has a long history of leading industry safety and raising the bar for businesses.

Our members are passionate about safety and increasing the professionalism and viability of this industry. As safety leaders they choose to join TruckSafe because it is the most comprehensive safety accreditation scheme for operators.

As we face the coronavirus epidemic and the recovery process, it is important now, more than ever, to uphold best practice safety.

One of the biggest advantages of being an accredited member of TruckSafe is that our members are externally audited. These external audits assure our members that their systems are working and effective. They can be used as evidence to show the business is compliant with the Heavy Vehicle National Law and that its executive officers are exercising appropriate due diligence.

As a result of the epidemic, online meetings and processes have become the new norm, with many services and systems having already made the switch.

While this virtual world is undoubtedly more convenient and cost-effective, it does not deliver the same level of assurance as on-site auditing. TruckSafe audits its members every two years, and if those who were due for audits now completed a virtual alternative, it would be potentially four years between physical audits. This is unacceptable, TruckSafe's values are simply higher than this.

Melissa Weller, ATA Safety, Health and Wellbeing Director.
Melissa Weller, ATA Safety, Health and Wellbeing Director.

For this reason, TruckSafe has made the carefully considered decision to continue on-site auditing, instead of transitioning to remote audits. Taking a risk-based approach to managing compliance, TruckSafe will continue to uphold the system's integrity and high-quality standards it is known for so well.

While we continue to uphold our safety standards, it is important to note that we are in no way subjecting operators or our auditors to forced physical contact. We are working very closely with TruckSafe members and our auditors to determine whether they can conduct on-site audits safely, in compliance with social distancing and safety protocols. If businesses cannot do this, we will postpone their audit to a more suitable time - but not leave it for another two years.

Through the ATA's membership of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we are working with Safe Work Australia to make sure its physical distancing and hygiene guidance material for mobile consulting and client engagement reflects the needs of our members and auditors.

The guidance material should now be available at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au.

This is a challenging period for all of us, and TruckSafe is committed to upholding industry safety standards and supporting our members to help them do the same.

TruckSafe was established with the clear need to unite the transport industry and demonstrate that it is serious about improving heavy vehicle safety. It is the scheme companies join to ensure total compliance and demonstrate a commitment to fostering a strong culture of safety in every part of their business.

TruckSafe also gives customers and the community assurance that operators have responsible work practices, well maintained vehicles, healthy trained drivers, and management systems that meet their transport needs. As a member of TruckSafe, you do not pick and choose what areas of accreditation you wish to nominate for, as a business you take on the whole system. That is what makes TruckSafe such a strong system.

TruckSafe sets the standard of how trucking businesses should operate and is an important part of the future of truck safety accreditation.

TruckSafe's high standards of roadworthiness and employee training and health, coupled with strong business management practices equate to safer vehicles, safer people and lower risk.

For more information about TruckSafe or to become a member, head to www.trucksafe.com.au.

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