Regulation, Transport Industry News

NHVR launches construction industry safety operation

NHVR

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is launching a new on-road operation focusing on vehicle safety within the construction industry.

It is targeting a focus on mechanical safety and compliance mass, dimension and loading requirements of heavy vehicles working in construction.

NHVR CEO Paul Salvati says the operation will have a nationwide focus, commencing this week across NSW, Queensland, Victoria, SA, ACT, and Tasmania.

“Throughout the operation, we will prioritise education in the first instance to ensure operators and drivers have a clear understanding of the risks associated with non-compliance during heavy vehicle transport activities in the construction industry, and know how to manage them,” Salvati says.

“Drivers and operators should always be practicing safe behaviours, such as implementing a daily check list to ensure the mechanical safety of vehicles, or utilising measuring devices, such as tape measures or height sticks, to confirm the vehicle and its load are within allowable dimensions.

“Managing safety risks can help prevent injuries and fatalities, avoid financial loss for the business, evade legal sanctions, enhance business reputation, and create a culture where informed safety decisions are made.”

The NHVR conducted a similar operation last year, which it says revealed some significant figures.

Salvati says that all operators within the construction industry should be working first and foremost with safety and compliance in mind.

“In the last operation, from 1 March to 15 April 2023, the NHVR’s on-road officers inspected more than 1,200 vehicles, and we saw encouraging signs of compliance,” he says.

“Overall, 56.4 per cent of heavy construction vehicles were compliant across all HVNL categories, with especially high compliance across mass and loading.

“The results however, in the mechanical compliance category were indicative of the work we still have to do.

“Of the defective components identified, the most serious were in brakes, body and chassis, while others were found in lights and reflectors.

“Heavy vehicle hazards in the construction industry traditionally include loads not being properly restrained, vehicles exceeding mass or dimension limits and of course, the mechanical safety of vehicles, especially heavy rigid truck, and trailer combinations.

“These may seem like standard risks, but they are amplified – especially on a construction site – by time pressures, constant loading and unloading, and the frequency of travel alongside other motorists on major roads and thoroughfares.”

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