The run-up to the London 2012 Olympics saw a massive increase in construction and heavy vehicle activity, which added to the existing very large construction truck related crash incidents involving vulnerable road users (VRUs).
Construction activity continued after the Olympics on other major rail and infrastructure projects. It was found that heavy construction vehicles were responsible for a disproportionately high number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities in London.
Often, this was because of blind spots due to truck design and windows providing limited visibility. Construction vehicle activities were estimated to be responsible for 47 per cent of VRU deaths and serious injuries.
As such, in December 2013, the Construction Logistics Community Safety (CLOCS-UK) standard was launched. It was an initiative of Transport for London, with the UK now seeing a decade in the CLOCS-UK standard’s evolution and industry rollout.
What is happening in Australia with CLOCS?
There has certainly been an appetite for a UK CLOCS type standard to be adopted in Australia’s construction industry. In round six of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives, a future construction logistics standard, (CLOCS-A), gained developmental seed funding for the National Road Safety Partnership Program.
Since that time, four working groups were co-ordinated to develop the new national CLOCS-A standard. These specialist technical groups were:
- Logistics standards,
- Driver competency and compliance,
- Heavy truck technical specifications and
Further to this, the CLOCS-A Standard was an initiative listed in the National Road Safety action plan 2023-2025, reflecting how heavy construction transport operations have certainly attracted a very significant safety focus.
New driver competencies
The central direction of the CLOCS-A standard is to minimise, if not eradicate, accidents involving heavy construction trucks with vulnerable road users (VRUs).
To this end, the heavy vehicle drivers and servicing construction sites will undergo VRU training in the CLOCS-A standard. The new training module encompasses seven classes of vulnerable road users, not just the usual three groups.
The new group includes e-scooters, road construction crews, traffic management crews and personalised mobility devices. Course delivery will be via a mobile phone app which will streamline the VRU training, thus avoiding any driver working disruption through classroom delivery.
Are the CLOCS-A Auditors special?
Auditors that have undertaken not only lead-auditor qualifications, but also heavy transport and construction micro-credentials, will be the initial frontline for CLOCS-A standard target auditing. It should be noted that the auditing rules and procedures will be slightly different to those currently being applied in the more common industry based audit schemes.
Bronze, Silver, and Gold accreditation standards
CLOCS-A has a three tiered standard for both constructors and truck operators. The constructor standards revolve around risk, safe route planning, adopting productivity and efficiency measures which minimise transport movements to and from construction sites. This will help in reducing risks to the community.
The transport standards also involve a tiered level of technological adoption for the vehicles as well as a short driver training module, along with an audited chain of legal driver compliance requirements.
Why CLOCS-A ?
For various levels of government, the CLOCS-A standard may well be a requirement for a construction company to participate in a governmental tender. Similarly for the bidding construction company, and who they might subcontract, such as their heavy construction truck fleets, who will almost certainly require a particular level of CLOCS-A certification too.
For potential construction companies and their own, or sub-contracted, heavy transport fleets, you may need to be CLOCS-A accredited for specific government contracts, or you may as well not bother applying for these government tenders.
This could be very significant for both construction companies and the heavy truck fleets servicing these companies.
Already specific state governments have contributed to both the CLOCS-A standard development, the specialist driver training module and the underlying IT platform that will underpin the national rollout of the CLOCS-A standard. The rollout of the standard nationally will be undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA).
Further useful information on the CLOCS-A standards can be found here