Don’t think your truck needs a risk assessment?


Don’t think your truck needs a risk assessment?

Paul Dean | Founder & Technical Director

October Newsletter 2020

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that their truck did not need a risk assessment because it just went over the pits, or that Australian Standards do not apply to trucks because they are built to ADRs (Australian Design Rules) I would be a wealthy fella!

The Australian Government website that explains what the ADRs are has the following opening paragraph:

“The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. The ADRs are generally performance based and cover issues such as occupant protection, structures, lighting, noise, engine exhaust emissions, braking and a range of miscellaneous items”. 

The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 requires all road vehicles to comply with the relevant ADRs. However, that does not absolve manufacturer’s of their obligation to comply with other Australian legislation such as the WHS Act and Regulations, Codes of Practice and yes; Australian Standards. 

My issue is that there are many facets to trucks that must be considered when providing safe plant for use at a workplace that are not considered in the ADRs. Some obvious examples of these include: access to the operator cabin and other work areas; neutral start controls; hydraulics; provision of information, and so on. 

If we extend this include truck body types the list is even longer. Examples include,  tipping bodies, tilt trays, winches, elevated work platforms, garbage compactors, concrete pumps and folding ramps to name a few. 

As a result trucks are also required to comply with the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6 (VSB6): National Code of Practice Heavy Vehicle Modifications. This is the national standard for the most common modifications made to heavy vehicles. Under the NHVR Code of Practice for the Approval of Heavy Vehicle Modifications, the NHVR has set VSB6 as the primary standard used by Approved Vehicle Examiners (AVEs) to approve modifications to heavy vehicles.

The ADRs and the NHVR have been active in incorporating Australian Standards into the most recent version of the ADRs and VSB6. There are multiple references to AS 1418.11:2014  Cranes, hoists and winches – Vehicle-loading cranes (EN 12999:2011, MOD), in these docs. It does beg the question, why is the balance of relevant Australian Standards not mentioned? Or even worse, in the case of AS 1418.8-2008 Cranes, hoists and winches – Special purpose appliances section 4 Tip Truck Hoisting Systems is specifically mentioned as not applicable, even though many of the requirements of this standard feature in the body mounting checklist!

Whilst we are heading in the right direction, the simple fact remains that designers of plant, manufacturers of plant, suppliers of plant, and employers all have legislative obligations to provide plant that is safe for use in a workplace. This obligation means that consideration must be given to all Australian Standards if you are one of the above mentioned participants providing plant for the workplace. 

My question to those that tell me that their truck does not need a risk assessment or does not need to comply with Australian Standards is simple: will you be able to rely on ignorance of reference to the fact that these standards are not mentioned in the ADRs or VSB6 as a defence if there is an incident and when compliance with the requirements of an Australian Standards would have prevented the incident? 

Plant Assessor provides this knowledge to you simply. Thanks to the power of technology we are able to apply the appropriate standards to all types of trucks for you.

If you have any questions please contact the friendly team at Plant Assessor anytime on 1300 728 852.

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