New strategy to protect workers in the transport industry launched

A new strategy launched by the NSW Government aims to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in the transport industry.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the road freight transport sector contributes an estimated $ 41.5 billion a year to the economy.

“This industry is a crucial part of our State, not only for the almost 160,000 road freight workers it employs but also because it keeps NSW moving,” said Mr. Kean.

“Our Coalition Government has met and exceeded the national targets for reducing both workplace-related deaths by 20 percent and injuries by 30 percent.

“Sadly though, we still see more than 6,400 claims for workplace injuries in the transport sector each year and that’s simply not good enough. That’s why we’ve designed the Transport Work Health and Safety Sector Plan – to help the people who keep our State moving, return home from work every day without injuries.”

Mr. Kean said hazardous manual tasks accounted for over 40 percent of all claims, followed by falls, being hit by objects or vehicle accidents.

“Despite an overall reduction in major claims for injuries in recent years, serious injuries and fatalities continue to occur,” he said.

“Those incidents aren’t just on the road, they also happen when vehicles are being loaded and during routine maintenance.

The Transport Work Health and Safety Sector Plan will improve standards for working from the ground when loading and unloading vehicles; ensure businesses develop a traffic management plan; and promote the principles of ‘three points of contact’ when getting in and out of vehicles.

“I want to say – this isn’t just about physical health. We know mental health is increasingly important, and that’s why another priority in our plan is creating mentally healthy workplaces,” said Mr. Kean.

Inspectors will visit workplaces across NSW as part of a mental and physical health awareness and compliance program.

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