Freight Week Safety Day

A Safety session and Bulk Tanker Emergency Response session was held last Thursday at Freight Week, with several presentations held throughout the course of the day.

Safety Session
Delegates at Safety Day heard high quality presentations on a range of interesting topics, including the lessons from the Japanese tsunami, measuring safety, comparing safety outcomes and the new occupational health and safety laws.

Points of interest included:
•       There has been a reduction in fatigue related crashes which could be related to the introduction of new fatigue driving laws in 2008;
•       B-doubles are a safer vehicle configuration than single articulated vehicles;
•       Heavy vehicle fatal crashes have not reduced over recent years and vulnerable road users (e.g. pedestrians and cyclists) are cause for concern in heavy vehicle crashes;
•       Examples of a variety of different ways to measure safety, using both lag and lead indictors for safety;
•       An outline of the new OH&S laws that are due to come into effect in January 2012;
•       Warnings that it is likely that these new laws will impose additional obligations on businesses.

Bulk Tanker Emergency Response Session
The Emergency Response Day focuses on lessons learnt from previous incidents and sharing that experience to improve outcomes especially in the bulk tanker sector. The day examines issues such as a nationally co-ordinated emergency response capability and the latest performance statistics.

Highlights included:
•       Rob McNeil opened by describing his experience leading a team of 76 with 20 tonnes of equipment to Japan to assist in the tsunami recovery. Risk of radiation exposure and logistics were the greatest challenges.
•       Grant Stillman from Oamps opened the bulk tanker stream emphasising that all serious incidents in the last 12 months were driver error. He called for a national approach. The Canadian model was put up as worth looking at.
•       Concerns were raised at authorities preparedness to handle emergencies involving new bulk ethanol and methanol fuels.
•       A strong call to action was made for greater sharing of incident information so the industry can improve the outcomes.
Although incident rates were stable there was a strong desire to do better and reduce the number of incidents and the costs of recovery through better incident management.

Freight Week 2011 is hosted by the Victorian Transport Association and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce.  Freight Week 2011 is being held from Monday 5th to Friday 9th September 2011 at the Melbourne Park Function Centre (Tennis Centre).

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