SafeWork NSW alert on heavy vehicle changeover fatality


Lack of high-vis clothing cited as authority outlines control measures

SafeWork NSW alert on heavy vehicle changeover fatality
SafeWork image of Macleay Valley Way in the dark

SafeWork NSW has issued an incident alert after a 52-year-old truck driver was fatally injured in July on the Macleay Valley Way at Clybucca, in northern NSW.

The location is commonly used as a changeover point for heavy vehicles travelling between Sydney and Brisbane.

"On the night of the incident, several heavy vehicles were parked on the shoulder of both sides of the road," SafeWork described.

"The worker, who was not wearing high-visibility clothing at the time, was struck by an oncoming heavy vehicle.

"The heavy vehicle was driving in the middle of the road at the time of the incident."


SafeWork's high-risk work licence caution, here


The safety watchdog implores freight workers consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks associated with heavy vehicle changeovers.

All transport operators should:

  • conduct risk assessments of heavy vehicle changeover locations
  • identify suitable control measures such as: safe locations for undertaking tasks that are related to heavy vehicle changeovers; ensure the area has sufficient lighting when it’s dark
  • provide training and instruction to workers on the hazards associated with work tasks and safe systems of work for heavy vehicle changeovers
  • provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and information, training and instruction for its proper use, wearing and storage
  • have systems in place to monitor compliance with safe work procedures.

All drivers should:

  • when coupling and uncoupling trailers, park the prime mover and trailer on a flat, level and hard surface in a safe location
  • follow reasonable instruction, policy and procedures from the transport operator
  • operate vehicles and conduct work tasks in accordance with Work Health Safety laws and the National Heavy Vehicle Law
  • wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) required for the tasks to be undertaken.

 

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