Survey shows strong industry majority has safety focus

NHVR says results show ongoing commitment to improved outcomes

Survey shows strong industry majority has safety focus
The industry’s safety profile is strong


A recent National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) initiative surveying almost 4,000 industry participants shows that two-thirds of heavy vehicle businesses have a safety system in their operation.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto believes the results of the 2020 NHVR Industry Safety Survey demonstrates the ongoing commitment from the majority of industry to keep pursuing improved safety outcomes.

"We know industry has increasingly adopted and invested in improved safety practices over the last 10 years and the significant take up of Safety Management Systems continues to support better safety results," Petroccitto says.

"Importantly, safety systems focus on a whole-of-business approach to safety including the important pre-trip check, which ensures vehicles are safe to operate on the road and that drivers are fit for duty before getting behind the wheel."

The NHVR had Insync conduct the survey in March and received responses from a wide cross-section of those working in the industry.

The survey has a heavy lean to eastern states, particularly Victoria with 48 per cent of respondents, while New South Wales has 17 per cent and Queensland 15 per cent.

Of the 3,972 respondents involved, company managers made up 42 per cent and owner-drivers 26 per cent.

Some of the key results that the NHVR notes include:

  • 62 per cent of respondents had a basic safety system in place
  • 78 per cent of managers said they had an ongoing program of safety-promotion communication in their business, compared to 52 per cent of drivers and 71 per cent of loaders
  • 76 per cent of respondents agreed that relevant safety training was occurring on an ongoing basis.

On the last point, however, while 78 per cent of managers agree that there is an ongoing program of safety promotions and communication, only 52 per cent of drivers and 71 per cent of loaders agreed.

NHVR updates vehicle inspection guide

The survey reveals the NHVR continues to have a significant task in raising industry awareness of its advice, with 66 per cent ignorant of it, but less so convincing those who are of its usefulness, with 92 per cent giving it the thumbs up.

The survey also rates understanding of vehicle safety technologies.

The three most understood are anti-lock braking (86 per cent), daytime running lamps (80) per cent) and reversing safety systems (77 per cent), while the three least understood were features that reduce blind spots (67 per cent), autonomous emergency braking (62 per cent) and Side and rear underrun protection systems (60 per cent).

 "The 2020 NHVR Industry Safety Survey provides a baseline result of the current safety environment that we can collectively monitor to understand trends and changes across safety practices," Petroccitto says.

"This information is critical as a regulator to ensure we are providing the relevant and effective information and guidance industry needs to keep doing their job safely.

"The survey results, coupled with the recent results from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics showing a reduction in truck fatalities by close to 18 per cent compared to the last financial year, is pleasing to see.

"Although this survey was conducted prior to the onset of the pandemic, we’re also speaking to operators about incorporating the latest health information into their safety systems."

Owner-drivers rate strongly on safety insights, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR’s) recent NHVR Industry Safety Survey results show.

Of the more than 1,000 owner-drivers surveyed, 62 per cent keep themselves informed of safety issues and information and use a safe driving plan, 71 per cent undertake regular personal health check-up and 97 per cent inspect their own vehicle.

A snapshot of the survey results is available at or click here for more information on the NHVR’s free on-line information sessions on the survey results on September 28.

To download or use the NHVR’s free Safety Management System information, click here.


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