A research based case study approach to the development of fleet safety interventions in large vehicle fleets
Wishart, Darren E. & Davey, Jeremy D. (2004) A research based case study approach to the development of fleet safety interventions in large vehicle fleets. In Safety In Action Conference, 30 March - 1 April 2004, Melbourne, Victoria.
Due to relatively little research in Australia and overseas, there is increased attention being devoted to the area of fleet and work related road safety. This is in part due to an awareness of workplace health and safety issues and the overall impact that fleet related safety issues have on business effectiveness and road safety (Downs et al, 1999; Haworth et al, 2000). Historically costs associated with work related vehicle crashes have more often than not been calculated in terms of vehicle damage or write off costs. Murray, Newnam, Watson, Davey, Schonfeld (2003) suggest that the direct cost of crashes in terms of repairs is only the tip of the iceberg. In recent years changes in industry/employer accountability, business processes, OH&S, Workers Compensation legislation, insurance and third party coverage, and a generally a more litigious environment require industry to develop better benchmarking along with more comprehensive programs to improve fleet safety. There is currently only a small amount of work in this area and estimates of the true cost for work related crashes suggest that hidden costs may be somewhere between 8-36 times vehicle repair/replacement costs (Murray et al, 2003). Based solely on workers compensation data estimates of costs to Australian industry for work related crashes have been in the vicinity of $400 - $500 million per year (Wheatley, 1997). According to the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics based on 1996 figures the average cost to society for a fatal crash is $1.7 million.
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