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Roadblock exercises continue to measure compliance with fatigue laws

Monday, 3 September, 2018 - 22:00
Policy & legislation
National News

WorkSafe WA is conducting a series of roadblock exercises to assess levels of compliance with fatigue management and related laws, and recently participated in a joint roadblock operation undertaken by Main Roads WA.

The exercise saw WorkSafe inspectors stationed at the road train assembly area at Northam conducting inspections of commercial vehicles to check whether they were in compliance with WA’s fatigue management laws.

A total of 72 commercial vehicles were assessed by WorkSafe inspectors, and 16 transport companies are currently undergoing follow-up inspections.

Over the course of the roadblock, 13 improvement notices and one prohibition notice were issued.

Although compliance with fatigue management laws was reasonably good, there were still companies that were not fully complying with their obligations, said WorkSafe WA director of industrial and regional Chris Kirwin.

“It seems employers are largely in compliance with WA’s fatigue management laws,” Kirwin said.

“But these roadblocks are still finding problems with record keeping, mandatory medical checks for drivers, appropriate sleeper cabs and driver training.

“A comprehensive code of practice for the management of fatigue has been in place since 1998, and it was updated in 2003 when the regulations came into effect.

“All transport companies need to ensure they have this code in their workplaces and are following it.

“WorkSafe has been involved in roadblock exercises for around 13 years, and the commercial transport industry seems to have come to grips with the fatigue laws over that time.

“Most employers now seem to understand that the laws are there to ensure that commercial vehicle drivers are given sufficient rest to allow them to function efficiently.

“However, it is always worth reminding the industry that the human body has limitations, and adequate sleep and rest are essential to safely undertake long-distance driving.

“Even though compliance with the laws has increased over the years, there is no room for complacency. WorkSafe plans to continue monitoring the industry on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance levels don’t drop off.”