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NHVR highlights saleyard COR exposure on safety

State workplace safety authorities on case despite damning SA report


Those in control of the Mt Gambier saleyards, amongst others, could do worse than examine their Chain of Responsibility (COR) exposure in the light of adverse findings related to a SafeWork SA’s (SWSA’s) dealings with the facility.

South Australia’s Ombudsman, Wayne Lines, was highly critical of SWSA’s response to Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria’s (LRTAV) complaints last year about serious shortfalls at the Mount Gambier saleyards.

The complaint had been spurred by an incident where a livestock truckdriver and LRTAV member was hospitalised after being charged by a bull which could not be held off due to a lack of a loading ramp gate. The gate had been promised months before the incident.

Livestock transporter representative bodies around the country have complained long and hard that their members and drivers are being injured and killed due, in part, to outdated and unimproved loading facilities.

Read what the SA Ombudsman says about the LRTAV complaint, here

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has sought raise saleyard operator attention to their COR exposure, especially after COR reforms last year and in view of Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) provisions.

“As we saw with recent assessments in Dubbo and Forbes in NSW, the saleyard  – a loading manager – is a party in the heavy vehicle supply chain and has the duty to ensure safety so far as is reasonably practicable,” NHVR spokesperson Andrew Berkman tells ATN. 

“The changes to the law in October 2018 also aligned the HVNL closely with Workplace Health and Safety laws.

“We work with Safework agencies and police to ensure resources are utilised properly and two agencies aren’t conducting the same investigation.

“We also support more education and information for saleyard operators for heavy vehicle safety. Funding has been made available to the Australian Livestock Markets Association [ALMA] to develop a ‘chain of responsibility 101’ user guide or handbook to provide operation-specific compliance guidance relevant to saleyards and livestock transport activities.”

ALMA’s website notes COR issues on its landing page, with links to NHVR information.  

Certain state work-safety watchdogs are sensitive to the risks.

SafeWork NSW issued a warning and advice last month on the dangers of livestock transportation following a fatality there that is still under investigation.

WorkSafe Victoria says it has linked with the relevant industries to tackle the risks

“WorkSafe inspectors visit saleyards to ensure risks to health and safety are adequately controlled and take enforcement action where necessary,” a WorkSafe Victoria spokesperson tells ATN.

”WorkSafe has also worked with industry representatives to develop safety guidelines about separating livestock from pedestrians.

“WorkSafe is currently liaising with both the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria and the Victorian Transport Association in relation to safe ramp design.”


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