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HVIA boosts heavy vehicle safety through new training courses

HVIA boosts heavy vehicle safety through new training courses

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has introduced two new interactive online training courses, providing vital knowledge and guidance for drivers and workers across the construction supply chain.

An outcome of HVIA’s Safety Through Education project, the new Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management courses provide construction professionals with an opportunity to take a proactive approach to safety on the job.

Steve Power, national manager strategic projects and business improvement at HVIA.
Steve Power, national manager strategic projects and business improvement at HVIA.

Both courses were built on the same successful platform as HVIA’s popular HV101, an induction-style course introducing concepts and terminology to people entering or working with the heavy vehicle industry, which has proven to be a great success since its launch.

Developed for anyone working in or around the transportation of loads, the Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management courses create an avenue for improved safety outcomes across heavy industries, particularly construction.

Steve Power, national manager strategic projects and business improvement at HVIA, says the interactive online learning education courses will be transformative for the construction industry.

“HVIA represents the manufacturers and suppliers of heavy vehicles in the on-road sector,” says Power. “That doesn’t just include highway trucks, but also a huge number of construction vehicles.”

“We developed the Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management courses – which are funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) and supported by the Australian Government – on the back of collaboration and discussions with our valued members and the NHVR, as well as key findings from National Transport Insurance’s (NTI) latest NTARC Major Accident Investigation report.”

The safety-critical nature of load restraint and tyre management practices has been consistently highlighted in NTI’s NTARC report series and is further underscored by industry concerns around these areas.

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“There’s quite a lot of information out there about load restraint, including a great guide now owned by the NHVR, but most of it is deep and complex,” says Power. “We realised that there’s a real gap in this space for something that is practical, hands on and testable, which can be comprehended by learners of all levels from all industries.”

“It’s the same with tyre management – vehicle tyres are the largest consumable, aside from fuel, for transport businesses.

“Tyre management is absolutely vital from a safety perspective, but also from a productivity perspective in terms of savings that you can make through efficient management of your tyres and wheels.”

By nature, a construction business’s profession isn’t trucks, they just use them. In the construction industry, moving a load using a truck and trailer is just a matter of doing business, says Power, as opposed to someone who works in road freight where it’s their tools of the trade. For that reason, knowing that load restraint and tyre management are not front of mind for most construction businesses, HVIA hopes to highlight the importance of bringing these areas to the fore.

“It’s well known that construction professionals are proud of their tools and want to know that those tools won’t let them down,” says Power. “But it’s more than that because the outcomes of not looking after your tools doesn’t just affect your ability to do business, it also affects your ability to do it safely and to look after the people around you.”

“When a truck loses its load the potential for the outcome to be catastrophic is high – it’s important for construction professionals to place just as much importance on load and vehicle management as they do any other tool they use in their day-to-day.”

Packing, loading and load restraint requirements are relevant to almost everyone in the construction supply chain and should be well understood and enforced by all stakeholders, every day. The Load Restraint Fundamentals course transforms the complex written guidance information that’s currently out there into a simple, immersive, practical online education course that construction professionals can utilise to put effective systems in place.

Best Practice Tyre Management: Regularly examine tyre and wheel condition.
Best Practice Tyre Management: Regularly examine tyre and wheel condition.

Similarly, the Best Practice Tyre Management course guides operators to develop their own procedures including maintenance, rotation and replacement policies. HVIA chief technical officer Adam Ritzinger says correctly specified and maintained tyres and wheels improve the safety outcomes of the most critical and most consumable heavy vehicle component. With a majority of construction companies using heavy vehicles in their day-to-day operations, whether it’s moving a load onsite or transporting machinery and goods on public roads to another location, it’s vital that they have an effective tyre management system in place to ensure the safety of their workforce and the community.

“The safety outcomes of these courses include saving lives,” says Power. “We don’t want people finding themselves doing these courses as a way of saying sorry for something, we want them to do it because they want to be sure they’re doing the best they can for their business and for the people that it serves.”

“It’s all about using the right equipment for the right task and taking care of that equipment – that applies to everyone in the construction industry.”

Whether it’s the driver of the truck, the person packing the load or the boss of the business, everyone in the construction supply chain has the responsibility to know that a job has been done properly and to call it out if it hasn’t. The new load restraint and tyre management courses are an accessible way for construction professionals to understand basic principles and know where to turn if they need more information.

Each course takes less than a day to complete or, if the person has previous relevant training, just a few hours. That said, the courses can be broken down and completed during the trainee’s own time.

HVIA has been working on the Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management courses for over two years, working with industry and government to ensure that all professionals in heavy industry can benefit from them.

Load Restraint Fundamentals: Use a suitable restraint system.
Load Restraint Fundamentals: Use a suitable restraint system.

Over the course of 12 months, 1,000 people completed the HV101 course. “I foresee the Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management courses to exceed this number by a long way, because the audience comprises all heavy industries,” says Power. “If someone is accountable for moving anything, particularly heavy equipment, then it’s absolutely crucial that they get it right.”

“If you do your basic checks every day, then errors are unlikely to happen, so just as you would wake up and have a coffee as part of your daily routine, construction professionals should have a daily mental system for load restraint and tyre management.

“Our team has been working hard to ensure the courses address these important safety concepts in a way that engages their audience; the generous assistance and guidance invested by so many parties during the project has really paid off.”

Both courses can be found on the HVIA Training website and a launch special for all purchases before the New Year reduces the cost of registration.

Weighing up the short time it takes to complete these courses with the positive safety outcomes they present, it’s a no-brainer that Load Restraint Fundamentals and Best Practice Tyre Management can be transformative for safety in the construction industry.

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