ACAPMA seeks dangerous goods training rethink


Petroleum marketers' peak body points to analysis of claims that alleges experienced drivers make more errors

February 8, 2013

The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) wants driver training changes, pointing to evidence that accident risks are higher for experienced drivers within the dangerous goods industry.

It points to data analysis by Lumley Insurance that shows 81 percent of insurance claim costs come from accidents caused by truck drivers.

The analysis, of claims made in the past three years, has found experienced drivers to make more mistakes than the newcomers, according to ACAPMA CEO Nic Moulis.

"The report suggests that a driver with between six to 10 years’ experience is more at risk of having a claimable accident," Moulis says.

"This new research shows that there is a pattern when it comes to the cause and cost of truck accident claims in the dangerous goods industry.

"Unfortunately, the driver is the main cause of most incidents and rehabilitating the driver is a significant cost in the claims process."

Moulis says it’s time for businesses to get proactive about training so the safety culture is improved as experienced drivers are more relaxed about training and safety.

"What we are seeing is that while drivers are taking training and safety on board in their first few years on the job, over time, complacency or lack of cultural reinforcement is leading to a higher rate of accidents," he adds.

"All of these accident-causing activities can be rectified by driver safety training and risk management initiatives that companies can easily implement.

"Businesses need to focus on educating their drivers about the role they play in their own safety.

"Every driver walks around their truck and does an inspection of its safety before taking it on the road. However, most drivers have not taught how to analyse their own risk of functional failure before getting behind the steering wheel."

The ACAPMA has been working with the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TILSC) in building career paths for dangerous goods tanker drivers, which has introduced Certificate IV in Tanker Operations.

"Tanker drivers, particularly the fuel tanker drivers are the ‘pilots of the road’," Moulis says.

"However, what has become evident in the construction of the skill sets and course materials and through the roll out of the pilot program is that there is a need to focus on the driver as a person, not just as the operator of the vehicle."

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