McAleese sees safety efforts bearing fruit in injury results

Injury and lost time frequency rates are down as firm pushes ahead with initiatives

McAleese sees safety efforts bearing fruit in injury results
Matt Tamplin runs through his company’s safety improvement efforts


Diversified haulage firm McAleese is hailing lower operational impacts following its first round of safety measures.

Prompted by issues surrounding its Cootes tanker subsidiary 18 months ago, McAleese instigated group-wide safety strategy including a strong focus on safety leadership and employee engagement.

It now reports total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) and lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), down around 54 and 77 per cent respectively on the prior year, following completion of a 12 month national restructure of the Cootes Transport business and investment in people and fleet.

"We’ve just commenced our second round of frontline leadership and safety training," McAleese oil and gas divisional general manager Matt Tamplin says.

"The comprehensive leadership development program is specifically focused on providing further knowledge and skills in areas of safety including leadership, communication, risk management and legal obligations.

"We’ve also made significant changes to our fleet reducing the national fleet age to 3.5 years for both prime movers and fuel tankers, and commissioned 37 new prime movers since June 2014.

"All of our vehicles have in-vehicle monitoring systems and real time satellite tracking installed, and having completed a successful trial of forward and driver facing cameras, we will now be looking to install these across other parts of our business."

The company says it completed the installation of electronic braking systems (EBS) on all trailing fleet in late 2014, "five years ahead of the NSW regulatory requirements".

Cootes Transport operational teams have also been working with their LPG customers to fit industry leading driver protection systems in the LPG fleet which remotely deactivate vehicles in emergency situations.

Other initiatives include a nationwide installation of brake roller testers in internal workshops, a national rollout of periodic independent vehicle inspections and a comprehensive program of training and systems investments that provide superior transparency of maintenance and compliance activities.

The business has also put key lessons into practice having recently undertaken an emergency response exercise at Port Campbell in Victoria, which saw the Cootes Transport team, customer representatives and 30 emergency services from across Victoria participate and test response processes.

"By applying our knowledge and processes to a live situation alongside emergency service providers we have been able to test and refine our business processes and generate greater cooperation and understanding across the industry," Tamplin says.

"All of these activities reflect our commitment to ensuring the highest standards of safety on our roads and in our operations."

The firm says it has been gratified by positive comments on its progress from New South Wales freight minister Duncan Gay, formerly a fierce critic.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook