The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and its member associations have made a joint call for all truck drivers to wear face masks, irrespective of whether it is mandatory.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the continued spread of COVID-19 is reinforcing the importance of everyone playing a role in reducing transmission.
“While wearing a mask is not compulsory in all cases when crossing state borders, health authorities have highlighted the benefits of essential workers wearing a mask, with Queensland’s Chief Health Officer also encouraging freight and logistics operators to implement regular testing protocols,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“We believe it is an important way to reduce risk and reassure the community that the industry is doing the right thing.”
ATA CEO Ben Maguire said that while the industry had more than proven its worth through both the bushfires and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was still important for drivers to lead by example in protecting themselves and the community.
“While the exemptions given to freight movement have been vital to ensuring goods and services are available across the country, it is also important to recognise that we have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce risk,” Mr Maguire said.
“ATA member associations have gone to extraordinary lengths to advocate on behalf of their members, as well as providing information and COVID-19 training.”
Mr Maguire pointed to the actions taken by the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA).
“For example, QTA CEO, Gary Mahon, has worked directly with the Queensland Chief Health Officer to achieve practical results that keep the freight moving while also protecting the community,” Mr Maguire said.
QTA released its COVID-19 safety guidelines for the heavy vehicle industry in April.
Information on current border restrictions specific to the transport of freight and logistics can be found on the NHVR website.