Roadblock exercises continue to measure compliance with fatigue laws
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WorkSafe continues to participate in roadblock exercises, with the latest ones revealing a reasonable level of compliance with fatigue management and related laws.
WorkSafe recently participated in two joint roadblock operations undertaken by WA Police and also involving Main Roads WA and the Explosives and Dangerous Goods section of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
The first saw WorkSafe inspectors stationed at roadblocks in Northam and Walgoolan (30km east of Merredin) conducting inspections of commercial vehicles, with the second taking place at Apple Street in the Swan Valley.
A total of 77 commercial vehicles were stopped by WorkSafe over the three locations, and 14 transport companies are currently undergoing follow-up inspections. In the course of the roadblocks, nine improvement notices and two prohibition notices were issued.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today that, although compliance with fatigue management laws was reasonably good, there were still companies that were not fully complying with their obligations.
“Fatigue is a serious safety issue in the commercial transport industry, and it seems employers are largely in compliance with WA’s fatigue management laws,” Mr McCulloch said.
“However, operations such as these roadblocks continue to find that problems remain with record keeping, mandatory medical checks for drivers, appropriate sleeper cabs and driver training.
“The fact that 14 transport companies are undergoing follow-up inspections as a result of these roadblocks demonstrates that we need to remain vigilant with the commercial transport industry.
“There has been a comprehensive code of practice in place for the management of fatigue since 1998, and it was updated in 2003 when the regulations came into effect. All transport companies need to ensure they have this code in their workplaces and are following it.
“WorkSafe has been involved in roadblock exercises for around 12 years, and the commercial transport industry has come to grips with the fatigue laws over that time.
“Most employers seem to understand that the laws are there to ensure that commercial vehicle drivers are given sufficient rest to allow them to function efficiently.
“It is always worth reminding the industry that the human body has limitations, and adequate sleep and rest are essential to safely undertake long-distance driving.
“Even though compliance with the laws has increased over the years, there is no room for complacency. WorkSafe plans to continue monitoring the industry on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance levels don’t drop off.”
Further information on fatigue management can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877. The code of practice can be downloaded from WorkSafe’s website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.
Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
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