Truck sleeper cabs safety

worksafe-wa-logo-largeWorkSafe WA is looking closely at sleeper cabs in trucks involved in long distance trips after a truck driver died early this year. Inspectors who investigated the incident were alerted to problems with sleeper cabs and were prompted to investigate into this issue further.

There were 16 Prohibition Notices issued to a transport company. Inspectors are now looking into other companies.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard highlighted the importance of sufficient rest for long distance commercial vehicle drivers.

“Transport companies that offer what is known as “hot shot” services to carry urgent freight keep their vehicles moving around the clock by using two drivers with one resting while the other drives,” said Mr Attard.

“If a driver is sleeping while the truck is on the move, the driver must be both comfortable and securely restrained, as per the relevant Australian Design Rule.

“Inspectors have found instances of trucks without sleeper cabs where the second driver is resting or sleeping on the vehicle’s parcel shelf or sleeping in a swag on the tilt tray of the vehicle, which is far from a satisfactory arrangement.

“Even when there is a single driver resting while the truck is stationary, it is important that the sleeping berth complies with design rules so the driver is properly rested and does not have consequent issues with fatigue.

“The trucks on which inspectors are concentrating are rigid trucks, not prime movers which usually have a sleeper cab behind the driver’s cabin.

“Inspectors from the Transport team will be concentrating on this issue whenever they attend transport companies to ensure that all vehicles used for long distance runs have the correct sleeping arrangements for drivers.”

More information about fatigue management is available on the WorkSafe WA website.

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