Case study: safety is unconditional

Advance Transport* operates three trucks and is contracted to transport white goods and furniture from retailers’ warehouses to clients.

What was the problem?
Advance Transport doesn’t have any written procedures for manual handling or loading/unloading goods. Nor does it have lifting equipment, hoists or lifting/lowering platforms. Goods are loaded manually onto the truck and ‘man-handled’ off the truck and moved with trolleys. Trolleys and lifting straps are generally used when goods are moved across unstable or uneven surfaces, or up staircases.

What was done?
Following a routine visit to Advance’s office, a WorkCover inspector recommended that the company immediately develop and implement safer systems of work for delivery activities, including written procedures for manual handling, loading and unloading goods, and delivering to clients’ homes. Hand-operated pallet jacks were provided for each vehicle and tailgate lifters were fitted to the trucks. Workers were then trained and supervised in using the new procedures and equipment.

Business benefit
Retailers who used Advance Transport had expressed concerns about the absence of proper procedures and equipment and are pleased that these issues have been addressed. As a result, the risk of injury to workers and damage to goods has been reduced. “It makes us look more professional,” says Dominic Amato, Advance’s owner. Retailers and transport operators better understand the role they play in keeping the workplace safe.

Key outcomes

  • Everyone involved in the delivery of goods has a role to play in making workplaces safe.
  • Retailers should build safety requirements into their contract with the transport operator by outlining acceptable safety standards required from the transport operator.
  • Retailers should get as much information as possible from the customer to help the transport operator plan the delivery.
  • Advance Transport has a better understanding of their obligations to workers, with regard to safe systems of work, mechanical aids, and policies and procedures.
  • Workers know how to load/unload using the new hoists, ramps and procedures and understand they need to work safely.

Further information
For more information about workplace health and safety in the road freight transport industry, call 13 10 50 or visit the road freight transport section of our website.

*business name has been changed

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