Industry moves to cut fatigue and mass breaches

Industry groups are proposing a code of practice to reduce risk of fatigue and mass-related breaches

By Brad Gardner

Industry groups are pushing a grain transport code of conduct to reduce the rate of loading and fatigue management breaches, which will require operators to meet a number of administrative commitments.

The Grain Transport Code of Practice is to be introduced by the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) and the National Agricultural Commodities Marketing Association (NACMA).

It aims to cut queuing and scheduling times and manage weight compliance issues to ensure operators meet loading requirements.

Furthermore, it sets out responsibilities to driver safety in order to prepare the supply chain for new fatigue management laws, which will be introduced on September 29

"Transport carriers are seeking a better understanding of all participants in the transport supply chain of their responsibilities…relating to driver occupational health and safety issues and broader chain of responsibility issues," the paper says.

"Road transport reform across Australia has introduced laws that impose duties and responsibilities on all parties in the road transport chain to take reasonable steps to prevent non-compliance with the heavy vehicle laws."

However, those who sign up to the code will be forced to maintain records to be audited every 18 months.

Furthermore, trucking companies operating under the code will be required to train their drivers and any sub-contractors to ensure they are aware of their obligations, which include supplying clean vehicles and maintaining records.

The records will need to be kept for seven years and will require operators and drivers to store audits as well as cleaning, training and insurance documents.

Site managers will also have a number of responsibilities, including providing rest facilities for drivers if trucks cannot be loaded or unloaded within two hours.

They will be obligated to ensure drivers who use amenities do not lose their place in a queue, while the code also supports systems to accurately manage mass, fatigue and queuing issues.

"Larger facilities that operate on a 24/7 basis should allow driver access to toilets, change rooms, drinking water and appropriate shelter on site," the discussion paper says.

The code, which is voluntary, will be drafted following the end of the discussion phase on September 19.

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