Transport and warehouse fatalities top Safe Work report
Safe Work Australia has produced a comprehensive report naming the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industries the leading contributors of worker fatalities in the period between 2007 and 2016.
Over 25 per cent of worker fatalities in 2016 occurred in these industries, with 47 deaths recorded compared to the next highest – agriculture, forestry and fishing – causing 44 deaths, or 24 per cent.
Of the 182 recorded deaths in 2016, 64 per cent involved vehicles, of which 45 per cent where a result of a collision on a public road.
This increase in transport related fatalities coincides with the rise of e-commerce in Australia, with Australia Post noting that holiday 2017 was the company’s biggest peak period, delivering over 37 million parcels nationally in December alone.
“It’s no secret that online shopping in Australia is growing,” Australia Post Group chief operating officer Bob Black said in July, when announcing the group was further investing in online parcel processing to keep up with increasing demand.
“Consumers are buying more and more online internationally and domestically, and as a result we’re processing and delivering more parcels than ever before.”
Australia Post recently unveiled a $300 million national investment into its supply chain after it reported the e-commerce sector grew by 18.7 per cent in 2017.
Part of this investment is to increase automation, in order to reduce manual handling and risk of injury while providing a safer working environment for it’s employees.
Automation in delivery, however, is a more difficult prospect – though one recommended by research conducted by Deakin University.
The team looked at how traditional mail services could be replaced by drones and ‘RoboPost’ automatic delivery units.
According to report author Dr. Roberto Perez-Franco, freight is expected to double over the next 20 years, and advises all levels of government to work together to ensure this happens smoothly.