Prime Mover Magazine

Supply Chain Safety Summit sets out priorities for governments: ALC

Industry, Governments and community must collaboratively deliver stronger outcomes across the supply chain heard attendees and delegates at the recent 2019 Supply Chain Safety Summit.

Held at the Hilton Sydney on 16-17 September, the event, hosted by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Transport Association (ATA) prioritised actions for key industry decision makers as regulators, safety management innovators, government representatives, policy-makers and freight transport operators gathered to address the management and measurement of safety risks.

Technological innovation was one of the solutions put forth to deliver more effective safety training.

Dealing with mental health challenges in the workplace and inroads made by regulators in regard to supporting greater on-road and off-road compliance were also high on the agenda.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz MP was one of the speakers alongside Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety, Senator Glenn Sterle, and SW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole who discussed their policy priorities for enhanced safety in the industry.

Heavy vehicle drivers also provided testimony on how they need to make their working lives safer and easier.

A series of panel discussions and interactive workshops helped highlight the need for rethinking the increasing influence of bureaucratic practices in safety management.

The complex and time-consuming practice of safety documentation came under particular attention.

Unnecessary duplication throughout the auditing system needed to be reduced in order for a common set of audit standards and standard auditing qualifications to be established under heavy vehicle safety to deliver greater industry confidence of audits and auditors.

The ALC said that little research had indicated that forms and checklists were effective in addressing safety risks.

"We need to transition from measuring activity to measuring outcomes," it said in a statement about combating the 'tick and flick' culture associated with some safety management.

The roles of regulators in safety needed to be clarified to better demarcate the responsibilities between various state-based work health and safety agencies and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Industry, it was recommended, needed to be supported in building mental health awareness into workforce training modules with more required to address alcohol and drug issues.

"There is a clear relationship between mental health issues and substance abuse in the workplace," the ALC said.

"Governments should support industry to develop specific initiatives that will allow organisations to respond effectively to alcohol and drug misuse, and ensure those affected get the support they need."

Industry was also encouraged to promote the collection of data through telematics to manage safety risks and take advantage of apps that can help track and support those dealing with mental health challenges.

Virtual reality technology was also earmarked as a tool for enhancing workplace safety training.

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