Published: 28 June 2016
Author: Stringer Clark
Court fines trucking firms for unsafe schedules
Last week not one but two local trucking companies received fines as a result of their drivers being subjected to unreasonable and unsafe work schedules.
The Warrnambool Standard reported that Ryan's Group was fined $20,000 for an unrealistic driver schedule while Mt Noorat Freighters were convicted and requested to pay $3000 to the court fund and undergo a 12 month good behaviour bond for failing to take all reasonable steps to manager a driver's fatigue.
Ryan's had required some drivers to travel to and from Melbourne twice in one day during a time when there was major road works occurring.
The Mt Noorat Freighter's driver fell asleep at the wheel at 1.44am while the driver was driving outside his usual work hours and at time he would normally have been asleep.
Fatigue a key factor in heavy vehicle accidents
"In sentencing Ryan's Magistrate Peter Mellas said fatigue management was a critical issue for all road users and a key factor in almost a third of all heavy vehicle accidents.
He said fatigue impacted on the community through injuries, deaths, and in economic terms but their seemed to be a real resistance in the transport industry to do something about it".
We see injured workers and drivers and the families of those killed on the road and we are appalled that with the education provided by both TAC and Worksafe that such practices continue in the transport industry.
Any driver or passenger injured due to unsafe work practices will have entitlements under the TAC and/or Workcover systems and should seek legal advice. Anyone working under such conditions should contact Worksafe.