Workafe WA releases fatigue blitz results


Roadblock exercises continue to measure compliance with relevant laws

Workafe WA releases fatigue blitz results
Chris Kirwin

 

WorkSafe in Western Australia has released figures from the latest joint fatigue action by state authorities, with a message that would not have been out of place in New South Wales.

Despite its most recent "roadblock exercise" revealing a reasonable level of compliance with fatigue management and related laws, WorkSafe WA marked some in the state industry with a ‘must do better’.

The exercise saw WorkSafe inspectors stationed at the road train assembly area at Northam conducting inspections of commercial vehicles to check whether they were in compliance with WA’s fatigue management laws.

WorkSafe inspectors assessed 72 commercial vehicles, with 16 transport companies currently undergoing follow-up inspections. 

Meanwhile, 13 improvement notices and one prohibition notice were issued.


Read about WorkSafe WA’s big Supreme Court win here


WorkSafe notes that although compliance with fatigue management laws was reasonably good, there were still companies that were not fully complying with their obligations.

"It seems employers are largely in compliance with WA’s fatigue management laws," WorkSafe industrial and regional director Chris Kirwin says.

"But these roadblocks are still finding problems with record keeping, mandatory medical checks for drivers, appropriate sleeper cabs and driver training.

"A comprehensive code of practice for the management of fatigue has been in place since 1998, and it was updated in 2003 when the regulations came into effect.  All transport companies need to ensure they have this code in their workplaces and are following it.

"WorkSafe has been involved in roadblock exercises for around 13 years, and the commercial transport industry seems to have come to grips with the fatigue laws over that time.

"Most employers now seem to understand that the laws are there to ensure that commercial vehicle drivers are given sufficient rest to allow them to function efficiently.

"However, it is always worth reminding the industry that the human body has limitations, and adequate sleep and rest are essential to safely undertake long-distance driving.

"Even though compliance with the laws has increased over the years, there is no room for complacency. 

WorkSafe plans to continue monitoring the industry on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance levels don’t drop off."

Further information on fatigue management can be obtained by phoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877.  The code of practice can be downloaded from WorkSafe’s website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

 

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