The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will focus on organisational cultural issues that influence individual behaviours under its new five-year safety plan, which has been released for feedback.
In its draft 2021-25 Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy, the NHVR says the behaviour of individuals is strongly influenced by the culture that exists within their organisation.
“Expectations, rewards and consequences are all components of workplace culture that can impact on individual behaviours. A positive safety culture thrives when employees know the appropriate safety behaviours that lead to rewards,” it says.
“The NHVR recommends that all operations should have established safety management systems, suited to the size and complexity of their business operations.”
The main human factors that relate to heavy vehicle operation include driver fatigue, being distracted while driving, driver fitness and impairment, pressure to complete a driving task within a specified timeframe, driver competency, situational experience, and awareness.
The regulator said long-term, sustainable and ongoing improvements to safety outcomes in the heavy vehicle industry depend on behavioural change, underpinned by organisational cultural change, that:
- supports drivers to manage their fatigue
- improves the physical, mental and acute health of drivers
- improves driver fitness, including the management of impaired driving
- improves competency in driving and loading tasks
- reduces distraction from drivers’ work environments
- reduces time pressures on drivers that contribute to unsafe on-road behaviour
The NHVR also noted that mental health was a significant issue impacting the Australian road transport industry and that it supports an ‘industry-for-industry’ approach to addressing mental health issues.
This will involve partnering with organisations to advocate for the prevention and control of mental health disorders in truck drivers and logistics workers nationally, and promoting healthier options around diet, exercise and individual well-being.
The draft strategy is open for feedback until April 30. Make a submission here.
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