Sideloader Good Practice Guide launches with WorkSafe seal of approval

In News10 MinutesBy Gavin MyersJune 2, 2023

The New Zealand Intermodal Transport Safety Group (NZITSG) has received official endorsement from WorkSafe on the Good Practice Guide: Safe Operation and Maintenance of Sideloaders (Good Practice Guide) and the programme is now being launched across the transport industry.

The NZITSG was established to address intermodal safety concerns, and is made up of transport operators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), industry associations, and industry training provider Mito.

“The group came together with a mandate to work collaboratively across the wider transport sector with the overall objectives to reduce risk associated with sideloader operations, improve health and safety outcomes, increase industry and worker engagement. NZITSG worked to deliver a Good Practice Guide designed to meet the practical and professional needs of transport operators and ensure the New Zealand transport industry is recognised as high performing, safe and sustainable,” says Murray Young, chairman NZITSG.

“Statistics show that when using a sideloader, there is a higher chance of injury to truck drivers. NZITSG is equipped to comprehend the dangers and difficulties associated with sideloaders as they are essential to our supply chain transportation operations, sideloaders play a pivotal role in our businesses. Mitigating risk and reducing harm for our people is vital.”

“The Good Practice Guide is a strong tool that puts control into the hands of the transportation sector, allowing us to demonstrate leadership by actively enhancing health and safety outcomes related to sideloader operations,” adds Murray.

“Development of the Guide has been a real journey for the industry, we have come together, as experts in the field, aware of the safety risks with a common goal to create a set of standards that will prevent sideloader injuries,” says Stephen Woodward, National Road Carriers, commercial transport specialist.

“The experience from the working group is country-wide with representatives from across the entire supply chain – this means the Guide is not one-dimensional. Manufacturers right through to operators have provided input to shape the programme and help ensure usability.

“It’s fantastic to be able to support such a valuable tool. Health and safety is an important issue and being able to provide a practical resource to help lift awareness, processes and standards is a really positive move for the industry.”

Dom Kalasih, interim chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand adds: “This is another great example where a key part of our industry clearly understands its activity and risks and it has invested and led a targeted across supply chain continuous improvement initiative.”

The Good Practice Guide has distilled the key safety information across all sideloader user manuals into one standardised guide. Relevant content has been collated, simplified and formulated in a way that is easier to understand – shining a spotlight of sorts onto the critical health and safety information supported by a formalised annual certification process for sideloaders. The process is robust and ensures safety, sustainability, productivity, and excellence within the industry is prioritised and celebrated.

Ian Johnston, Hammar.

Murray says: “Launching the Guide is just the first step. Maintaining it and keeping the standards current, will be an ongoing process. The Guide is supported by an Industry Accord that stakeholders and transport operators can sign up to. This demonstrates compliance and support for the Guide, which will be continually improved to take into account technology advancements, training and the unit standard will be refreshed to reflect its evolution.”

“The Good Practice Guide will deliver clear benefits to the transport industry. This is an excellent illustration of the transport industry taking the initiative to use its collective expertise and knowledge to reduce risk and create practical solutions that can be easily put into practice. End-to-end supply chain support can now occur with transport customers now able to ask for their providers to adhere to the Good Practice Guide, and operators can demonstrate with pride that they are part of the programme – demonstrating industry leadership,” says Dom.

“All three OEM’s, Hammar NZ Ltd, Patchell Group, Steelbro, have been on the same page, we see the importance of safety training for operators and good maintenance to ensuring that side loaders are fit for purpose,” says Ian Johnston, Hammar NZ Ltd.

Formal endorsement from WorkSafe sends a clear signal to the industry that the Guide is supported and meets the standards required to deliver better health and safety outcomes. To receive endorsement guidance such as the Good Practice Guide, must meet the same quality requirements as WorkSafe’s internally developed guidance WorkSafe’s policy dictates that guidance such as the Good Practice Guide, must meet the same quality requirements as their own internally developed guidance. The strict criteria for endorsement provides assurance that health and safety guidance is aligned to regulatory requirements and accurately reflects good health and safety in New Zealand.

From left: Coral Carlyle, Mark Purdue, Richard Smith, Jason Heather, Ian Pauling, Clint Burgess, Grant Darrah, Murray Young, Calven Bonney, Ross Wallace, and John Anderson.

“WorkSafe encourages industry groups (such as NZITSG) to develop our own products and to use our distribution channels to reach out to relevant parties, as we are well placed to do this quickly and efficiently,” says Murray.

“The Good Practice Guide is a great example of how industry can collaborate to lead and deliver a really strong safety programme that promises to make a meaningful difference.”

WorkSafe has extended congratulations to NZITSG on the achievement of developing and obtaining endorsement of the Good Practice Guide.

The sideloader Good Practice Guide will be freely available for all transport operators on the web from early July and National Road Carriers (NRC) will be coordinating delivery of the certification labels to the OEMs.

Certification is an annual process requiring the core elements to the Good Practice Guide to be undertaken:

  1. Sideloaders are certified once a year by the OEM’s or their approved service agents, and an approved certification label is attached to the sideloader – similar to a vehicle certificate of fitness (COF)
  2. All lifting chains and lugs are certified annually
  3. New sideloaders are certified, and an approved certification label applied at manufacture
  4. Operators must receive general training that covers the principles of a sideloader and specific training on the make and model of equipment they will be operating
  5. All sideloader operators hold NZQA Unit Standard 17679 certification, confirming they are competent to operate a sideloader
  6. Complying with the Good Practice Guide’s requirements allows operators to demonstrate they are doing all that is reasonably practicable to manage the risk associated with the task, generally guidelines can help PCBUs* and workers meet their duties under the HSWA 2015. An operator that is compliant with the Good Practice Guide is much better positioned to prevent an incident.

The New Zealand Intermodal Transport Safety Group (NZITSG) is made up of industry associations, representatives, transport operators from around the country, along with all three OEMs.

NZITSG members include: John Anderson, LG Anderson Ltd; Greg Bailey, Steelbro; Calven Bonney, LW Bonney & Son; Clint Burgess, Pollock Cranes; Grant Darrah, Reliance Transport Ltd; Ian Johnston, Hammar NZ Ltd; Dom Kalasih, Transporting New Zealand; Don Patchell, Patchell Group; Ian Pauling, Coda; Mark Purdue, HWR Group Ltd; Stephen Woodward, National Road Carriers; Richard Smith, Mackleys; Murray Young, NZ Express Transport Ltd.