Transport Workers Safety
Transport Workers Safety
Far too often recently there have been stories in the news of violent acts, and other issues affecting transport worker’s safety. It has been nothing short of a tragic beginning to the year with three workers in the transport industry losing their lives already, according to Safe Work Australia’s statistics. Safety is about people, which means for every person who loses their lives on the job, there are countless others affected by their loss. But how do these fatal accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them?
Transport Workers Safety When Working Alone
The Transport Industry in Australia provides valuable information on the type of risks lone workers in the transport industry are likely to face, including:
- Abusive customers (e.g. carrying passengers)
- Road rage
- Hijacking (e.g. carrying a valuable load)
- Fire and explosion
- Animal attacks (e.g. carrying livestock)
- Slips and falls (e.g. securing a load in transit)
- Health complaints (e.g. heart attack or asthma attack)
Ensuring Transport Worker’s Safety
The Work Health Safety Act 2011 states that there is a duty to “ensure health and safety” by either eliminating the risk when practical or to minimise the risk when it’s not practical to eliminate it entirely.
But what is considered practical? It involves weighing up all the relevant matters, including:
- The likelihood of the risk occurring
- How much harm could be caused by the risk
- The knowledge and training of employees
- Ways of eliminating or decreasing the risk
- The availability of ways to minimise the risk
- The cost, e.g. is the cost “grossly disproportionate to the risk”?
As the Transport Industry points out, the ideal solution is to eliminate the risk. Unfortunately, it is not practical to eliminate many of the risks outlined above, too many of them rely on outside influences. But there are some risks that are more likely to occur than others. For example, changing a tyre on the side of a busy road is a likely risk. Whereas, hijacking (while not impossible) is a less likely risk here in Australia.
Ways to Decrease or Eliminate Risks for Transport Workers
One way to minimise the risk when changing a tyre on the side of a busy road would be to provide employees with a lone worker safety solution, like the WSG app, where they can set a timer before leaving their vehicle and the monitoring centre will be aware that they are due to check in. If they don’t check in, then the process of checking on their welfare begins.
This means, if there was some kind of accident and the driver was unable to raise an alert, or they happened to be out of view of passers-by, someone would be aware of it quickly and help could be sent. In situations such as these, minutes can make all the difference to the severity of the injury.
Other Ways WSG can Help Keep Transport Workers Safe
The Transport Industry makes several helpful suggestions for increasing workplace safety for transport employees who work alone, including:
- Use of barriers between customers and staff
- Working in teams or “buddies”
- Making sure there is more than one safe exit
- Periodical checks to make sure staff are safe
- Providing protective equipment and first aid kits
- Methods of indirect supervision, like a call-in arrangement
By providing your staff with a WSG safety app, you are effectively supplying them with a 24/7 buddy, at a fraction of the cost of another employee to accompany them. Likewise, with the WSG meeting timer, there is no need to worry about periodical checks, employees can set the timer for 10 minutes or 2 hours and the app will prompt them to check-in. If they don’t the team in the monitoring centre will start the process of checking on their welfare. This also means that there is no more worrying about DIY call-in arrangements, find out why these are dangerous in our previous blog Don’t risk safety with a DIY call in arrangement!
Find Out How We Can Help
WSG offers a no obligation free trial of the app, we believe the best way to see if the app is right for your situation is to try it out. There is no credit card or complicated cancellation required, you simply let us know if you would like to progress further. What have you got to lose, other than the risks? Talk to us today.
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