Stevedoring sets example, says Endycott

By: Greg Bush


RMS compliance chief says stevedores are leading the way in taking up safety initiatives in advance

Stevedoring sets example, says Endycott
Proactive approach: Paul Endycott says stevedores are taking action to prevent overloading in the trucking industry.

 

The head of the New South Wales road transport authority’s compliance division has singled out stevedoring as taking the initiative towards safer outcomes, and setting an example for the road transport industry.

Speaking at this year’s Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) annual conference, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) General Manager of Compliance Operations Paul Endycott noted substantial safety improvements on the waterfront since authorities cracked down on overloaded trucks five years ago.

"In 2009 we issued improvement notices to manage overloaded heavy vehicles leaving both the container terminals," he says.

"Now they weigh everything that comes out the terminals, and advise the operator and the driver with the weights, both the vehicle and its load. And if they’re severe, they don’t leave."

Endycott says the stevedores’ eagerness to be proactive in road safety has also led them to insisting on permits for over-height vehicles before loading goods at container terminals.

"Given the high priority of over-height vehicles striking the infrastructure in Sydney, tunnels and otherwise, they’re actually incorporating it into their one-stop booking system now," he says.

"If the operators are picking up a high top or a box that’s a little bit high, they have to then indicate to them that they’ve obtained a permit before they’ll load the vehicle and let it leave as well.

"So this is industry coming back to us and saying, ‘we’ve identified risk, we want to help, we want to put these things in place, without you having to issue an improvement notice or tell us’."

Endycott also touched on the RMS’ approach to launching legal action against businesses found to have breached heavy vehicle regulations.

He says decisions on whether to prosecute or issue sanctions are made once investigators collect all evidence to a requisite standard.

"There’s high risk, not only to the person that’s under investigation, and the reasonableness and the fairness that needs to be applied to them, and the risk to the agency, and of course the reputational risk that sits behind not getting it right," he says of prosecutions.

"We’re taken on some very big corporate entities over the years. We’re not frightened in doing that, it’s not a perfect world sometimes with the law."

Endycott also pointed out decisions to take legal action involved balancing the cost of prosecutions with serving the interests of the community.

"It doesn’t serve the people of NSW if RMS were sitting at one end of the bar table, with barristers earning $6000 a day sitting at the other end, and it goes for three months. So we try and find the best balance and try to work through it so we can get the outcome for the sector that’s on the road, that’s the hard part," he says.

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