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Supply chain participants convene at 2018 ALC & ATA Summit

September 13, 2018

At the 2018 ALC & ATA Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit, over 300 people across the supply chain gathered to hear keynote speeches and participate in discussions and workshops.

Hosted by both the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the Summit, held in Melbourne on 5 and 6 September, was the last major industry event prior to the upcoming Chain of Responsibility (CoR) law changes on 1 October.

Speeches were delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development, Hon. Michael McCormack MP, and Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Hon. Luke Donnellan MP, who spoke about initiatives to improve heavy vehicle safety.

A number of other speakers also explored how using improving technology, promoting a positive safety culture in workplaces and doing everything possible to protect the physical and mental well-being of professionals in the industry can create a safer environment for heavy vehicle operators and all road users.

There was a strong focus on the Master Code for heavy vehicle safety, which has been collaboratively developed by the ALC and the ATA. The Code sets out how all participants with CoR obligations in the supply chain can manage risks in their operations.

During the panel discussions and interactive workshops, participants at the Summit also identified a number of areas for industry to address so better supply chain safety could be delivered.

The 8 key issues where further action was needed were:

  1. End-to-end supply chain collaboration on safety

More needs to be done to demonstrate that managing safety risks not only delivers better safety outcomes, but also greater efficiencies for operators and for customers.

  1. The Master Code must be relevant to all parts of the industry, including smaller operators

The Master Code should demonstrate a practical approach to managing safety risks that demystifies many issues for smaller operators.

  1. Increasing duplication throughout the auditing system for heavy vehicles is having a detrimental impact

A system that is less focused on ‘box ticking’ and instead embraces the practical, real-world experience of drivers in managing safety risks will better serve the industry, customers and the wider community.

  1. Jurisdictional inconsistencies in the enforcement of CoR and the HVNL

Bodies like the ALC and the ATA should lead efforts to ensure compliance authorities understand how consignors and consignees are managing risks – and recognise those efforts when it comes to enforcement.

  1. Executive level recognition of the importance of CoR will drive better safety

When a company’s leadership shows they ‘get it’, it drives cultural change throughout an organisation. The ALC and the ATA can play a role in helping executives understand that demonstrating compliance with their safety obligations is not just a legal requirement, but offers tangible business benefits.

  1. Statistics on heavy vehicle safety need to be presented more effectively

There is a tendency to assume the heavy vehicle is at fault in every incident. Industry should work with authorities to ensure that statistics present a more accurate picture, and develop strategies to ensure passenger vehicles share the road with heavy vehicles more safely.

  1. There needs to be far more honest conversation about mental health in the industry

Driving is a solitary activity that requires a lot of time away from homes and families. Industry organisations need to work collaboratively on initiatives that remove the stigma around talking about mental health issues. Developing programs that enable the industry’s workforce to deal with mental health challenges effectively must be a top priority.

  1. Improving technology should be embraced by all in the effort to save lives on our roads

This includes promoting much greater uptake of telematics, in-vehicle cameras and the development of consistent data standards that will promote enhanced safety right though the supply chain, assist with business management and promote better infrastructure investment (including rest stops).

The ALC and the ATA said that it will work to promote the development of practical solutions to the challenges identified.

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