There has been an alarming rise in the number of Australia's truck drivers being killed at work each year, according to new data released by Safe Work Australia.
In releasing the Work-related Fatalities Involving Trucks Australia 2003 to 2012, Safe Work Australia Chair, Ann Sherry said more needs to be done to ensure the safety of these workers and reduce these worrying statistics.
"Around 80 workers are killed each year while working in or around a truck," said Sherry.
"Not only is this figure disturbing in itself, but 39 per cent of these people die in single vehicle truck crashes.
"While the data showed that driving too fast for the conditions caused some of the fatalities, for many the cause of the crash was unknown, however it is likely that fatigue and lack of concentration played some part in these deaths."
The report outlines target areas to help reduce truck-related fatalities, including:
- Managing public road travel to reduce fatigue and using appropriate speed for the conditions
- Ensuring that vehicles are braked appropriately
- Increasing awareness of pedestrian workers and members of the public
- Ensuring that vehicles and equipment are maintained appropriately and used correctly
- Improving protection from falls for those working at heights, and
- Ensuring cargo is appropriately restrained particularly during unloading operations.
"By targeting these areas we can improve the working environment for truck drivers, people who work in the vicinity of trucks and the general public," said Sherry.
"Improving a business's work health and safety is critical, it increases productivity and more Australian's get home safely every day because of it."
Road transport is a priority industry under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022.
Efforts to prevent truck-related workplace incidents are undertaken by work health and safety regulators, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Transport Commission.
For more information visit: www.swa.gov.au