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LBCA questions TWUs take on occupational risks

The association says trucking is not alone when it comes to work-related accidents


The Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) has questioned the Transport Workers Union (TWU)’s portrayal of occupational risks within the trucking industry and whether small family-owned businesses are more involved in work-related fatalities and accidents.

While the association concedes that trucking is one of the higher risk industry groups in Australia, it says that the group is not unique.

“Trucking is among the 16 per cent of industries that have a high occupational risk,” the LBCA says.

“Of the 19 major industry groups identified by Safe Work Australia, the three highest risk industries are: agriculture, forestry and fishing; transport, postal and warehousing; and arts and recreation.

“The statistical differences between the three are relatively small, although agriculture forestry and fisheries has the highest level of accidental death.”

While critics of the scheme have questioned whether setting up minimum rates could guarantee road safety, the TWU has repeatedly highlighted the issue of road safety and occupational risks within the industry, linking it with driver remuneration. 

“The hazards involved in working in transport are well documented with even a recent federal government report showing those working in road transport are 12 times more likely to die at work than any other profession,” a TWU spokesperson says.

“This should not come as a surprise given the level of risks taken in transport.”

“A Safe Work Australia report from July 2015 shows that: 31 per cent of transport employers say workers ignore safety rules to get the job done; 20 per cent of transport employers accept dangerous behaviour, compared to less than two per cent in other industries; and 20 per cent of transport employers break safety rules to meet deadlines – this compares with just six per cent of employers in other industries.

The union attributes the level of risk in the trucking industry on “pressure from clients at the top of the transport supply chain”.

It says the industry needs a system “to hold clients to account” when tackling risks to safety in transport.

The LBCA also warns the industry that the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) could be reinstated after the Labor party expressed support in its favour.

The RSRT was voted out by the federal parliament last month.

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