Asixa learns lessons from fatal accident

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

Transport firm aims to educate industry about dealing with an accident

Asixa learns lessons from fatal accident
Asixa CEO Simone Turner: "It's really important to understand what the correct procedures and compliances are."


Police, people and media are the key things to remember when coping with a major incident, according to Victorian freight provider Asixa.

The company is speaking at the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) annual conference, which starts today, in a bid to educate the industry about its experience following an accident.

A family of four died at Catani in February when Asixa’s sub-contractor allegedly failed to obey a stop sign and give way to an entering vehicle.

Asixa CEO Simone Turner says experience has taught the company to always be prepared for a crisis.

"I think the incident certainly opens your eyes to just the extent of what you need to do to be prepared for an incident like this and how stringent the chain of responsibility and regulations are," Turner says.

"It’s really important to understand what the correct procedures and compliances are and make sure they’re robust enough to withstand such a catastrophe in case it should happen again.

"It’s something I certainly hope I don’t have to deal with again and I certainly hope that no other industry will have to face either. It doesn’t so much make you stronger it just demonstrates how important the responsibility is to any organisation."

The company appointed an external PR agency to deal with media attention following the accident, which kept its reputation in place, she adds.

"A major incident like this tragic accident is going to absorb the focus of your business but it’s really important to keep an eye on your reputation," Turner says.

"You have to make sure you have systems in place to make sure your business isn’t unfairly represented in the media and to look after your reputation as a business especially when there’s such a public focus on such a major tragedy.

"I’m definitely encouraging other companies in the industry to have those processes in place before something like this happens."

The company has also offered counselling to its staff.

The sub-contractor is due to attend a committal hearing this month.

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