DescriptionThe Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) was abolished in April 2016. This followed the 2015 RSRT Order which constituted the first systematic attempt to regulate the remuneration of owner drivers in the Australian heavy vehicle road transport industry. There is clear evidence that truck driver safety is linked to systems and levels of remuneration, and that the performance payment systems associated with owner drivers have particularly adverse implications for their health and safety (Belzer et al 2002; Quinlan and Wright 2008; Mooren et al 2014). Nonetheless, when abolishing the RSRT, the federal parliament chose to refute and/or disregard this evidence. In doing so, the government relied on arguments that evidence does not conclusively show that increased remuneration leads to a decline in collisions and fatalities. However, although tragic, collisions and fatalities constitute a negligible proportion of driver safety incidents, compared to slips, falls and air pollution, which often lead to serious injuries (Safe Work Australia 2013). This paper reports the findings of a large online survey of workplace health and safety among heavy vehicle truck drivers in Australia. With the object of providing a more coherent and complete picture of the relationship between remuneration and owner driver safety, the focus of this paper is on the links between forms of remuneration and common safety risks and injuries in this industry.
|3 Feb 2017