Fatal Truck Crash on M2 a tragic reminder of the risks in Australia’s most dangerous industry

Release date: 7/01/2015

TWU NSW secretary elect Michael Aird said this morning’s fatal truck crash on the M2, which took the life of a truck driver, was a tragic reminder of the risks of working in Australia’s most dangerous industry.

Mr Aird said that while the causes of this crash were yet to be determined, the everyday reality of the industry was that drivers were under enormous pressure from major clients to speed, carry overloaded trucks and skip breaks to meet impossible deadlines.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with both drivers and their families after this horrific crash. It's important that this crash is fully investigated by the NSW police, the Coroners' office and also by WorkCover, because the roads are a workplace for truck drivers,” Mr Aird said.
“One life lost on our roads is one too many. More needs to be done to protect the community and truck drivers. We need the federal government to stop its attack on the national road safety watchdog, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, and work with drivers to lift standards.
“This crash is an absolute tragedy for all involved but sadly it comes as little surprise to our members. Driving a truck is the most dangerous job you can do in Australia, with a workplace fatality rate 15 times higher than the national average. In 2013, the last year for which comprehensive stats are available, 65 transport workers were killed on the job,” Mr Aird said.
Mr Aird said around 300 people were killed in truck crashes each year across Australia and thousands more injured.
“Truck drivers are under constant pressure from big companies at the top of the supply chain to do the job quicker and cheaper,” he said.
“The only way we can combat this epidemic is for big companies and the state and federal governments to work with us as and drivers to stop the pressure to speed, miss breaks and overload trucks to make ends meet,” Mr Aird concluded.

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