Call for industry consultation on delivery driver safety guidelines

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 12:45
Industry news
New South Wales

The NSW Government recently called for industry consultation on draft guidelines designed to provide better protection for workers in the food delivery industry.

The guidelines outline existing hazards in the industry, such as poorly maintained bikes, fatigue and extreme weather conditions, and the actions that must be taken by delivery platforms, drivers and restaurants to mitigate these risks.

The guidelines have been developed by the Gig Economy Joint Taskforce, which was established to investigate a number of food delivery rider fatalities and led by SafeWork NSW and Transport for NSW.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the gig economy is a new and rapidly growing sector.

“We’ve developed these strategies in partnership with industry to help food delivery operators, drivers and restaurants understand their obligations under NSW work health and safety legislation,” he said.

“These laws apply to all workers and all workplaces to ensure safety. The fast growth of the gig economy has created uncertainty and confusion in the sector about what each party should be doing to comply with the law and what protections should be in place, particularly when it comes to food delivery riders who are independently contracting to the big platforms.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility and this guide clarifies the role of the platform operator, the rider and the restaurant to ultimately make the gig economy a safer workplace and to save lives.”

Minister Anderson said the guidelines are about making sure that industry participants understand how the legislation we have in place applies to them.

“We will continue to consult with industry on the draft guidelines, with a view to finalising them for inclusion into an industry safety action plan for release in April,” he said.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said any life lost on the roads is one too many.

“We know these food delivery riders are some of our most vulnerable road users. We want to do everything we can to guarantee they have the proper protections in place and ensure a day at work doesn’t end in tragedy,” Mr Constance said.

“These guidelines outline existing hazards in the industry including poorly maintained bikes, fatigue and extreme weather conditions. Delivery platforms, drivers and restaurants must follow this guide to mitigate these dangers.”

The Taskforce’s final report and recommendations are due to be provided to Government in April, and the draft guidelines are available online while submissions can be emailed to by Friday 26 February 2021.