The TWU Vic/Tas Branch has written to WorkSafe calling for investigations to be launched into supply chain pressures in trucking following a second school bus crash in the state, in which early reports suggest a truck was involved.
The TWU said these incidents are a reminder of the essential work performed by both truck and bus drivers for our communities, and the absolute requirement to ensure transport workers have the safest possible working conditions.
The TWU is calling on WorkSafe to launch investigations into the supply chains of the trucks involved in the two school bus incidents which occurred one week apart, as well as to open up a broader line of inquiry into supply chain pressures on trucking companies in the state.
Decades of evidence has shown that financial pressures from cost-cutting in transport supply chains squeeze operators and drivers and cause dangerous pressure to delay maintenance, meet unrealistic deadlines or stay on the road too long.
TWU Vic/Tas Secretary Mike McNess said TWU members are devastated by the involvement of school children in recent crashes and are determined to make transport a safer industry.
“Our thoughts are with the school children, their families and the drivers involved in these terrible incidents. We’re thankful that no one was injured in today’s crash.
“Truck drivers and bus drivers do critical jobs for our communities, our schools, and in keeping Australia moving. While transport is one of Australia’s most essential industries, it is also its deadliest, with unchecked commercial pressure at the top of supply chains bearing down on operators and drivers who interface with other road users.
“The Victorian Government has importantly recognised truck crashes as workplace incidents, and we’re calling on WorkSafe to use that mandate to open up lines of inquiry into supply chain pressures on truck operators in these specific incidents and across transport in the state. No stone should be left unturned in investigating all factors that may have caused these incidents, and in unearthing the pressures on drivers that must be eradicated to prevent future crashes from occurring,” McNess said.
So far this year, 27 people have died in truck crashes in Victoria including seven truck drivers.
It comes as the TWU continues to make representations to the state government about tightening state transport laws and while consultation is taking place by the Federal Government into reform to set standards in transport.