Out-of-vehicle truck driving fatalities

The Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) has released the results of its report, ‘Out of vehicle truck driving fatalities’.

ISCCR is a joint venture between WorkSafe Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission and Monash University. It conducts and commissions research in workplace injury and illness prevention, compensation practice, health and vocational rehabilitation.

The report focuses on truck drivers killed while out of their vehicle undertaking work-related tasks and makes a number of recommendations to prevent these kinds of deaths.

According to the report, truck drivers being killed while undertaking work-related tasks out of their vehicle represents an under recognised source of potentially preventable deaths in Victoria (and Australia).

An evidence review was conducted whereby cases of out-of-vehicle fatalities were extracted and analysed from the National Coroners Information Service (NCIS) and the Victorian Work Related Fatality (VWRF).

In the years 2000 to 2009, data shows that 47 truck drivers died performing work-related activities outside their vehicles in Australia.

The majority of cases identified were in Victoria (21), however, this may be due to incomplete databases in other states and territories.

The most frequent initiating event was the truck parking on an incline 21 of 47 (45%); the intermediate mechanism was the truck rolling, most frequently brake related; and the most frequent final cause of fatality was a vehicle (or trailer) crushing the driver against another object.

The report recommends prevention strategies that include:

  • Designing in-vehicle warnings if the vehicle is parked on an incline and if parking brakes have not been applied;
  • Raising awareness of this issue; and
  • Reinforcing training of good practices when stopping the vehicle, loading/unloading or coupling/uncoupling.

It also states that there may be implications for the design of loading bays including avoiding designs with inclines but ensuring they are still accessible by workers and vehicles at the same time.

To view a copy of the report, click here.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend