ALRTA Weekly News – Ramp Guidelines, Payment for owner drivers, NHVR and local Government cooperation

Click here to download the latest ALRTA Newsletter or read on about national ramp guidelines, remuneration for owner drivers and more…..

NATIONAL RAMP GUIDELINES

This week I met with Safe Work Australia to discuss the drafting of national guidelines for the safe design of loading ramps and forcing yards.

The ALRTA has been working hard during 2014 to build industry-government partnerships to jointly identify relevant risks and hazards associated with ramp use and to consider appropriate controls.  Our working group has recently agreed on a series of model ramp designs and we are now getting to the business end of drafting the national guidelines.

During the drafting stage it is important for the ALRTA to work closely with Safe Work Australia to make sure that we thoroughly understand the process for gaining endorsement of national guidelines and to know exactly what is expected in terms of structure, content and presentation.

The Federal Government has been clear that they are aiming to reduce regulation – not increase it.  Success will require gaining majority support from industry, unions and state governments and producing a practical product that makes life easier rather than more difficult.

Our working group will consider a first draft on 12 December and we hope to seek formal endorsement by SWA at the first opportunity.

REMUNERATION FOR OWNER DRIVERS

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is considering a draft road safety remuneration order that proposes to establish minimum rates of payment for owner drivers.

While consultations are currently confidential, as I’m sure you can imagine, determining a ‘one size fits all’ payment model is no easy task and there are significant differences of opinions among the major stakeholders.

The ALRTA has considered the proposal and we have written to the Tribunal outlining our view that the transportation of livestock and bulk grain is not akin to general freight or supermarket work which appear to be the primary targets of the order.

We expect there to be a public consultation phase in due course and we will of course be seeking your view on the final draft proposal that is released.

CLOSER COOPERATION BETWEEN NHVR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

ALRTA welcomes the commitment of the NHVR CEO and President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to work more cooperatively to improve permit processing times and address ‘first and last mile’ access issues.

At the recent ALGA National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Tamworth, the NHVR outlined a range of measures for improving cooperation with local government including demand mapping, pre-approvals, understanding technical capabilities and development of assessment tools.

Local Governments control nearly 80 percent of Australia’s road network and invest $7.5b annually.   Enhancing the expertise and resources of local government to consider access requests is of critical importance for making the NHVR concept work and unlocking billions of dollars in potential productivity improvements.

STAY SUNSMART THIS SUMMER

Following Skin Cancer Action Week last week, ALRTA has today released an exclusive member fact sheet on sun safety and skin cancer prevention.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. It’s no surprise that outdoor workers, including many in the transport industry, who spend long periods of time working in the sun have a higher risk of skin cancer.

Developed in partnership with the Cancer Council Australia, the fact sheet outlines methods operators can use to protect their workers from excess UV exposure and the skin changes that people should look out for.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of skin cancers are preventable.  The sooner you take action the safer you and your drivers will be. You could use the fact sheet as the basis of a staff toolbox talk, hand out copies or post it on the staff notice board.

To obtain a copy of the fact sheet just contact one of the ALRTA’s state member associations.

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