NHVR stresses safety-first approach during grain harvest

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is urging everyone involved in this year’s grain harvest to undertake a heavy vehicle safety management check-up ahead of what is expected to be a bumper season.

Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz said the NHVR had released a simple 9 Step SMS (Safety Management System) Roadmap designed to assist businesses develop and improve their heavy vehicle safety systems.

“The prospect of good yields in many grain growing regions of Australia means more heavy vehicle traffic on country roads and that means safety becomes paramount,” said Buchholz.

“Whether you own your own truck or you’re in the process of arranging a contractor, take some time to make sure you’ve thought about the risks and put steps in place to make your operation safe.

“Now is the time to make sure your truck is properly checked before use or have safe access for a contractor onto your property, know your mass limits and have the proper permits in place.”

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the 9 Step SMS Roadmap focuses on targeted content to mitigate key safety risks; and that it can be tailored for companies that are just starting out, improving on existing systems or seeking continuous improvement.

“An SMS can be as simple as undertaking a daily visual inspection of your heavy vehicle, not putting pressure on drivers to exceed the speed limits or drive fatigued and loading within your mass limits,” said Petroccitto.

The Roadmap, according to Petroccitto, provides simple templates, quick guides and toolbox talks that can be tailored to suit the needs of businesses large and small, and anywhere in between.

“We want to ensure companies have the tools to put in place safety procedures and to engage in important safety conversations with staff and other parties in the chain,” he said.

“It’s all set out in an easy-to-read format, and we’ll be working with groups right across the industry to help implement systems and support their safety needs.”

Staff from the NHVR and other agencies will be out talking to grain producers and grain receivers in Queensland and NSW during August and September to discuss heavy vehicle safety during grain harvest season.