Podcasts, diversity and animal welfare have all been in the news this week, alongside hardy perennial topics like the chain of responsibility and inclusion.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator released its first series of podcasts and fact sheets to help the trucking industry, and others in the supply chain, understand their responsibilities under the latest changes to the chain of responsibility rules.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the new education material for the heavy vehicle supply chain showed road safety goes well beyond truck drivers.
“Whether you perform the tasks of a packer, loader, unloader, loading manager or an executive of an organisation that performs these tasks, you have a responsibility for heavy vehicle safety,” said Darren Chester, Federal Transport Minister. “There have been cases where poor business practices, delays with loading or incorrectly packing goods has led to pressure on drivers and increased the risk of an incident.”
The fact sheets and podcasts cover common breaches of the law, the responsibilities of anyone who has influence in the supply chain, such as schedulers, packers, managers, providers and low-cost steps to make an operation safer.
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has released a National Animal Welfare Policy for livestock carriers. The policy statement lays out thirteen key principles for best practice in livestock transport and has been agreed by all six of the ALRTA’s state associations.
“Caring for live cargos is a unique part of the rural road transport task that is under constant scrutiny by markets, governments and the community”, said Kevin Keenan, ALRTA President. “The interaction of animal welfare laws, workplace safety laws and road transport laws creates complex challenges in balancing the equally important elements of driver welfare and animal welfare.
“Over the past three years, our National Animal Welfare Committee has examined our role in the supply chain and championed several important new initiatives. For example, we have published national guidelines for the safe design of ramps and forcing yards, merged TruckCare with the award winning TruckSafe accreditation system and established LivestockASSIST, a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses.”
At the National Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting of Federal and State Transport Ministers the decision was made to reaffirm the council’s commitment to the introduction of a national registration scheme for heavy vehicles from July 1 2018.
Further amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to extend positive due diligence requirements for executive officers to non-Chain of Responsibility offences, giving greater accountability and responsibility for those in the heavy vehicle supply chain, was also agreed.
There will be a single commencement date for both the Chain of Responsibility and Executive Officer Liability reforms to ensure all parties in the freight and transport supply chain have been informed about the impact of the changes for their businesses.
Last week, more than 100 people from across the supply chain gathered for the second Australian Logistics Council Diversity & Inclusion Summit to identify how to attract the best possible talent to work in the logistics industry.
Summit participants committed to continuing to work together to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry, and to build upon the work that has taken place since last year’s Summit.
In her welcome address, Jenny McAuliffe, Chair of the ALC People Committee and Executive General Manager People, Australian Rail Track Corporation, stressed the need for the logistics industry to create effective cross-industry partnerships to attract, retain and support a more diverse workforce across all parts of the industry.
Figures from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency show women represent only 26 per cent of employees in the transport, postal and warehousing industry, with a pay gap of 21.4 per cent to their male counterparts.