The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has issued its first fire safety bulletin after holding a roundtable meeting last month to address heavy vehicle fire safety.
Following a probe into the spate of truck fires in the past year, the roundtable discussion brought together a number of leading forensic fire investigators, fire service officials, police and members of the heavy vehicle supply chain, to focus on identifying heavy vehicle fire causes and preventative actions.
NHVR Safety Standards Director, Tony Martin, says the intent of the bulletin is to raise awareness of common fire risks and outline what actions are required to help mitigate those risks.
“We recently sat down with a cross section of industry to tackle the issue of truck fires and it is clear that prevention is better than cure,” he said.
“We’ve outlined some measures available to different parts of the heavy vehicle industry that can assist in fire prevention.”
The bulletin outlines a number of common fire risks in heavy vehicles that include:
- shorting of electrical cables and connections;
- inappropriately rated electrical components;
- fluid line failures;
- the heat generated by a turbocharger; and
- not maintaining a clean engine bay.
A number of preventative actions that operators can take include:
- reviewing the common causes of fires and identifying those that may be most present in their fleet;
- reviewing maintenance management systems to remove or reduce any risk factors, and improve the safety of their transport activities; and
- ensuring those who carry out servicing or modification on higher-risk components or systems on their vehicles, such as electrical systems, have measures in place to verify that fire risks are not introduced.
Mr Martin says if an operator experiences a heavy vehicle fire incident or near-miss event, they should report it to the NHVR to allow it to improve its understanding of this issue.
“Reports can be made to the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line or to the NHVR’s Vehicle Standards team. For operators accredited in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, reports can also be made to the NHVR’s Accreditation team,” he said.
The bulletin can be found here.
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