Contributing to your industry’s future direction

We gave a commitment that the ATA would consider all the items proposed by delegates for inclusion in our 2015-2017 strategic plan. The ATA’s Skills and Workforce, Safety, and Transport and Economics committees reviewed the action plans and have now presented them to the ATA Council.

The strategic plan is the document that guides our agreed priorities. It is reviewed and updated each year. It doesn’t prevent us from responding to emerging issues, rather it ensures that our efforts and resources are focussed in the right direction. It is articulated by the ATA’s mission statement: a safe, professional and viable trucking industry.

The plan recognises that the ATA, as a peak body, has three tools to achieve its goals: member advocacy to governments, parliaments and regulators; research and the development of best practice standards; and communication with the industry and the community.

Today the ATA’s general council welcomed the two resulting action plans, on safety and building a healthy industry of choice.

Towards a safer trucking industry
Delegates asked the ATA to look at better training for truck drivers, and a willingness by companies to employ newly trained drivers. Concurrently, delegates sought better training for other road users, including action by licensing authorities.

The ATA focus on recruitment and retention includes the National Trucking Industry Awards. Events like TruckWeek promote opportunities in the industry.

The ATA’s 2015-2017 plan will show ongoing policy and advocacy work required for effective and fair chain of responsibility laws, including the extension of those laws to vehicle maintenance, and better guidance on how to comply.

The ATA will continue its work to encourage an increase in the take up of safety accreditation programs like TruckSafe.

The industry wants better speed management and enforcement and road accident investigations carried out by an independent investigator that focuses on safety, not legal blame.

Initiatives to reduce rollovers include mandating electronic braking for new dangerous goods tanker trailers. The Australian Government has now established an Electronic Stability Control Industry Reference Group to progress this issue.

The ATA will publicise the work of its member associations as they promote better work health and safety. Load restraint practices are a key target, including training for drivers and enforcement officers in how to apply load restraint.

A healthy industry of choice
We will continue promoting the industry to improve the public’s recognition of the important role of the trucking industry and its employees, including through initiatives like TruckWeek and the Safety Truck.

The ATA will continue working to ensure drivers are treated in a professional way by customers, police and enforcement officers including lobbying for better police and enforcement officer training.

The ATA will promote healthier lifestyles by distributing a series of toolbox talks on health topics, starting with sleep apnoea. The toolbox talks program will also provide businesses with information about how they can create a supportive mental health environment for employees and support the early recognition of serious illnesses.

The ATA will work with corporate providers to promote the importance of providing better facilities at truck stops, especially showers, toilets and food.

We will seek better medical standards, so driver medicals detect underlying conditions like diabetes, sleep apnoea and likely heart attacks. Medical clinics need to understand the importance of the checks. Changes to the current standards are needed so drivers sent for medical tests can keep driving until the results are assessed.

It is wonderful that so many trucking operators have chosen to come to the conference over the last two years to contribute to developing the next phase of our strategic plan. Your opportunity to join them is now around the corner. Please consider this an invitation to join us in Hobart next March for Trucking Australia 2015.

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