Crawfords Freightlines under scrutiny over workplace deaths

Company says it is working with union and authorities to improve safety at its transport yard.


New South Wales trucking outfit Crawford Freightlines is facing scrutiny over its safety practices after two onsite deaths in the past few months.

The Newcastle-based business has fallen foul of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), which claims workers have told it Crawford's yard is dangerous and loading areas lack safety procedures.

Earlier this month, a minor collision between a truck and forklift sparked a physical confrontation between two workers, with one killed in the violence that followed.

In July a maintenance worker died while at work for Crawfords after a forklift tyre failed.

The company says it is working with the union and authorities to improve safety at its transport yard.

It has agreed to the TWU's request for a meeting at the company's head office at Sandgate to discuss any concerns the union has.

"As a family-owned company, our number one priority continues to be the safety and well-being of all of our staff and contractors," managing director Peter Crawford says.

"We comply with the provisions of relevant workplace safety regulations to ensure our workers’ health and safety remains paramount."

Crawford says the company conducted a comprehensive review of onsite safety procedures and policies, in conjunction with WorkCover NSW, following the latest incident.

"As a result, we are in the process of improving road markings and signage on site," he says.

"WorkCover NSW also investigated a fatality at our Sandgate site earlier in the year, but issued no improvement notices."

The TWU describes the transport yard as ineffectively delineated between sections for truck, forklift and human traffic.

While that was not responsible for the violence that occurred onsite on August 4, the union does note the incident was "triggered" by a collision that should have been avoided.

The union has urged WorkCover NSW to investigate the company, with particular reference to safety standards and procedures in its transport yard.


There have been two onsite deaths at Crawfords Freightlines since July.

Posted by Owner Driver on Wednesday, 19 August 2015


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