Safety Starts From The Top
Release date: 2/02/2017
The Coffs Coast Advocate, by Richard Olsen, TWU NSW State Secretary, 1 February 2017
The first month of 2017 is not even over and we have already started the death count for the transport industry. At the time of writing we have lost four drivers. Four families are left asking the question, how has this occurred?
We at the TWU are asking how many more drivers will die before the government realises the urgency of this crisis? How many more ordinary road users will die in truck crashes? How long will drivers be the only ones held responsible for these deaths on roads?
The major solution relates to the chain of responsibility that is supposed to be in place every time a truck is loaded and sent out on the road.
BATTLE: The fight for safe working conditions continues.
Every day drivers are under pressure, which forces them to drive long hours, speed, skip breaks and overload their vehicles.
Who is responsible? It starts from the top down, corporations who are looking to save a dollar just to ensure profits are made.
Sadly it appears the savings on the supply chain generally start at the other end, the workforce. This means drivers become commodities - these are people who need to earn a living for themselves and their families.
Those at the top who compromise safety because they need to save a dollar or two must be held to account for the pressures on drivers who deliver their goods and for the safety risks that result from this pressure.
We need to regulate this industry to hold these clients to account. No driver should be forced to take safety risks to feed their family or keep their business going.
The TWU continues to look for solutions to the crisis that is not going away. Nationally we will be convening a safety summit with involvement from academics, industry and regulators, which will contribute to the conversation on finding solutions to the crisis.
We will continue to ensure that all drivers are represented in the fight to keep jobs and fair working conditions.
This makes sure that roads are safer for all.
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