Operating motor vehicles is a typical part of any brewery’s business activities. Where travelling in the course of duties, vehicles are considered to be a workplace and breweries need to recognise they have health and safety obligations in respect of this.
The impacts on Australian roads
About 30% of all vehicles registered in Australia are used for business purposes and over 50% of all new vehicles are purchased initially for commercial use. Statistics show, during the 2017 calendar year, there were 1226 road deaths. This has been an increase since 2008/09 with an average of 1100 deaths on public roads.
Response from National Regulators
National guidance was published in late 2018 National Guidance Vehicle as a Workplace, explaining how to take a risk management approach to vehicle safety at work. As part of the risk management approach, the brewery should consult workers such as sales representatives and light vehicle delivery staff, on their transport tasks, so you can determine the seriousness of these hazards.
KNOW YOUR DRIVING HAZARDS
Driving is never a low-risk activity, however, you should ensure that there is no risk to yourself, passengers or pedestrians. As a part of the craft beer industry, staff may be required to do some tastings, have a beer at a sales meeting or function; and decisions need to be made around planning these activities. Consideration should be given to empower decision making with tools such as Professional Breathalyser. Other considerations for safe driving may be:
• Reversing and slow speed manoeuvres;
• Device usage (handsfree etc);
• Shared zones with, pedestrians, heavy and plant vehicles such as forklift;
• Vehicle maintenance and repairs;
• Loading, unloading and load restraint.
GENERAL RISKS FOR LIGHT VEHICLES
• Time pressures – Tight deadlines can pressure drivers to speed and skip breaks.
• Shift work, fatigue and physical fitness – Shift work is common and working irregular hours can cause fatigue and have adverse effects on health and safety. Sometimes driving can mean limited physical activity with greater time spent sitting still, which can impact fatigue and the ability to exercise. Drivers should feel empowered to take rest breaks and book overnight accommodation if required.
• Poor vehicle design – Where someone’s workplace is their vehicle, the design of the seat and vehicle controls as well as the duration and frequency they drive will affect their risk of musculoskeletal discomfort. This includes device use and information available to drivers, such as sat nav etc.
• Manual handling – Sales reps and delivery staff may be required to load and unload vehicles, such as lifting kegs from utes to trolleys. Are kegs in the back seat of a light vehicle safe? What are the safe solutions?
MANAGING “GREY FLEETS”
Grey Fleet is the term for vehicles that are used for work, that are not owned by the driver’s employer. How do breweries understand if the car being used by their employee is fit for purpose? Read more on Grey Fleet risks.
Contact us for further information on Driving safety for your team.
You also can do an awareness online training to understand the driver safety.