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Monash Uni to research work-related road traffic injuries

Accident Research Centre will research prevalence of work-related traffic injuries and how workplace practices and cultures influence them

October 10, 2013
Monash University’s Accident Research Centre will research the prevalence of work-related traffic injuries and how workplace practices and cultures influence them.

The research will identify which workplace behaviours are most effective in promoting a culture of safe driving and preventing road traffic injuries – the leading cause of work-related deaths in Australia.

Over the next three years, Monash University will examine 300 organisations in Victoria and New South Wales that have some form of work-related vehicle use, from those with only occasional vehicle use to those that operate large commercial fleets.

The researchers will interview and survey a sample of some 1,200 senior managers, fleet supervisors and vehicle drivers from the organisations to gain insights into what is working and what is not.

The participating organisations will be given access to the research’s early findings, which they can then implement into their risk management plans.

The results will aim to provide insights into potential improvements to the various risk management and health and safety procedures in place across Australia.

The study’s chief investigator, Dr Sharon Newnam says many managers are unaware of the factors within their organisations that are likely to lead to reductions in work- related road traffic injury and deaths.

Along with identifying the factors associated with work-related road traffic injury, Newnam says the study will establish an occupation taskforce to ensure the research findings are adopted into workplace practice.

The taskforce will be charged with turning the research findings into practices and outcomes that organisations and regulators can adopt.

The taskforce will comprise representatives from the insurance industry, government departments, and two vehicle fleet operators.

The Accident Research Center will work with Vero Insurance on the study.

“Approximately 27 per cent of work-related vehicles are involved in crashes each year. This equates to around 1.4 million work-related vehicles involved in crashes every year, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data,” Suncorp Insurance executive Darren O’Connell says.

“Road traffic injuries can have a devastating impact on people’s lives. These incidents can take a huge personal toll on the individuals involved, their families and their co-workers within the organisation.

“There can also be very significant flow-on effects to an organisation’s revenue. They can lead to lost productivity, compensation claims and higher insurance premiums.”

O’Connell says the study’s findings will deliver direction for business and the insurance industry to make work-related vehicle use safer.

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