Accredited Safety Management System

In NTA, July 20226 MinutesBy David BoyceAugust 13, 2022

It is time for the industry to adopt and lead an industry-specific, independently audited safety management system. We are proposing to bring the Australian TruckSafe programme to New Zealand. TruckSafe has been operating in Australia for 26 years. Currently, we are engaging with stakeholders because we need a true partnership to ensure success. The programme will be redeveloped to meet New Zealand’s regulatory requirements.

It is an industry initiative that delivers competitive advantages to accredited operators.

TruckSafe members will need to achieve accreditation through independent auditing, and members will be bound by the TruckSafe Code of Conduct. TruckSafe accreditation is based on a set of minimum standards a trucking business should meet to be considered a safe, responsible operation. The integrity of TruckSafe will be managed by a New Zealand Industry Accreditation Council, with support from ATA and the TruckSafe council. For operators, accreditation shows that they are meeting their due diligence and duty of care. For customers, TruckSafe provides confidence that operators have responsible work practices, well-maintained vehicles, healthy and trained drivers, and management systems to meet their transport needs. This also helps customers to meet their due diligence requirements.

TruckSafe accreditation satisfies an increasing trend of customers requiring their suppliers to have risk management systems in place and included in tenders. One of the biggest advantages of being an accredited member of TruckSafe is that a third party externally audits members. These external audits can be used as evidence demonstrating compliance with the TruckSafe Standards, which in turn, provides a strong defence when things do not go to plan.

TruckSafe has a minimum set of standards that must be met to be accredited. These standards are grouped within seven modules: Business management; Risk management; Driver health and wellbeing; Speed management; Fatigue management; Mass dimensions and load restraint management; Vehicle standards (maintenance) management.

An additional module is available for livestock operators, TruckSafe animal welfare.

It is proposed to add a New Zealand additional module: Climate change and sustainability.

What kind of businesses use the TruckSafe accreditation system?

Businesses of all sizes, tasks and sectors can use the TruckSafe system. Operators choose TruckSafe for several reasons – operational efficiency and system management, insurance and compliance needs, customer-driven requirements or just to guide and support them during either consolidation and/or expansion periods. A company is as good as the foundation it rests upon – TruckSafe provides a good foundation for quality and safety standards.

TruckSafe is suitable for any business, be it a large corporation or a small mum-and-dad operator. Even more important for single operators, it gives them the structure and systems that the larger companies have. The authorities do not discriminate between larger and smaller operators when something goes wrong.

How can TruckSafe help my business?

Through the implementation of the TruckSafe system, your business will benefit from a more structured environment. TruckSafe sets a standard where everyone from the owner down must lift their standards to perform to a certain level.

TruckSafe businesses are regarded as the best in the industry, which helps when working with others – they can be assured that a TruckSafe accredited member will have standards set in place. Being a TruckSafe member can potentially put your business in front of another when tendering for a contract.

Australia’s version of TruckSafe meets obligations under chain of responsibility legislation

Being accredited with TruckSafe helps to ensure that the business has the right systems to minimise any breaches under the chain of responsibility laws. However, the business is only one link in the supply chain, and breaches from other businesses in the chain may affect the company.

To help minimise this further, any contractors you engage may also be TruckSafe-accredited to maintain the high level of compliance you have set with your business.

Australian TruckSafe is one of the first accreditation schemes to be Master Code compliant. The Master Code is a Registered Industry Code of Practice (RICP). By adopting an RICP through TruckSafe and developing an effective risk management process, the business may be offered protection from certain litigation as you can prove you have complied with all relevant standards and procedures under health and safety law. We are hoping that this can also be negotiated with the New Zealand regulator Waka Kotahi.

There is currently nothing like this available for operators. As an industry, we need to take the lead and support this programme because the alternative may not be as industry-focused or tailored as we would like.

Australian TruckSafe Chair Paul Fellows will be attending the Trucking Industry Summit on Saturday, 30 July 2022, and will be doing an introduction on TruckSafe. We will also hear from a trucking operator in Australia who introduced TruckSafe into their business and how it benefited.

The cost of attending is $75 plus GST, and you can register at or by phoning 0800 338 338.