It was great to see last week’s Waka Kotahi March edition of Te Pae Kaa Kaa talking about how government agencies and industry are collectively turning the focus on to work-related road safety.
David Boyce, CEO of NZ Trucking Association (NTA) says that while the industry already has very high levels of safety and some good systems to support operators there is a real gap in terms of a formal compliance programme.
“For a long time, members have been asking for more structure, with clear benchmarks and formal recognition of the standards. Many want to undertake continuous improvement but need a framework to enable them to further promote best practice and safe behaviour,” says David.
“Combining forces with Waka Kotahi to implement the Work-related Road Safety Programme is a huge step forward in terms of giving the transport industry better certainty and direction. There are six key elements that make up the programme and we are thrilled to be working on the establishment of the heavy vehicle accreditation workstream. The implementation of the accreditation scheme sees government and industry partner in a way that enables industry to ensure safety best practice that will deliver a high level of assurance to both the freight industry and regulators.”
Justin Tighe-Umbers, CEO National Road Carriers (NRC), says the aim of the programme will be to ensure transport participants agree a code of conduct and get accredited based on a set of industry standards that mitigate risk and improve compliance and safety. Progress is well underway with key freight partners already having met with Waka Kotahi to discuss creation of the governance group.
Justin says, “The New Zealand transport industry is keen to move quickly to establish a robust road transport accreditation programme. Fortunately, the industry has high safety and compliance standards, so existing business risk is well managed. But we are very conscious of the duty of care operators have to their drivers, families and other road users and the fact we need to make sure best practice standards are in place across the board.”
“An industry-led vehicle accreditation scheme will allow us to have a world class business and risk management system that will give operators recognition, and their customers confidence in their work practices,” concludes Justin. “It satisfies an increasing trend for customers who require suppliers to have comprehensive risk management systems in place for tenders, and because members are externally audited by a third party, accreditation provides robust evidence of compliance across all aspects of the business.”