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Don’t Neglect – Duties or Reports!

INC2709 Cont'd

Given the accident was not reported to the Police and there were no official checks into the van’s pre-accident condition a report that the vehicle “had mechanical issues to be fixed” could not be validated with any certainty.  Nonetheless, any vehicle faults, reported by a driver must be thoroughly investigated by a qualified mechanic. Also, any road incident resulting in injury must be reported ASAP to the NZ Police if they do not attend.

Investigation - Some Key findings...

The investigation has not shown any one factor at fault, rather a series of possible causes, two of which are discussed below:

  • Driver Training and Competency: Licenced drivers often lack experience on back-country gravel roads.  Employers must provide suitable training for all driving conditions and follow-up with regular Safe Behavioural Observations (SBO).
  • Fatigue Management: Forest work can require long hours along with high physical demands. To prevent fatigue employers should aim for a maximum of eight hours of work and two hours of travel per day or set weekly maximums ¹.

Managing Risk - Please Also Consider!

  1. Join the Puataunofo program (as appropriate), which will be run by PF Olsen in 2021.
  2. Improve road hazard signage including call-up markers (increasing the frequency in high-risk zones) and instruct vehicle drivers on the importance of calling every marker.
  3. Apply the 3C’s – consulting with other forestry Contractors or members of the public.
  4. Ensure safe driving e.g. by wearing the right footwear – not driving in forestry gumboots.

¹ Please review the Safe OP – Fatigue Management, Worker Health and Facilities NZ (see section 4).

View this article in Safety Bulletin 123