LTSC Newsletter May 2013

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Load Security code:

The revised code has now been signed off by the NZTA and the DOL, the new booklet is been printed now and will be forwarded to operators by the end of May. The LTSC has also uploaded all the Industry standards onto our webpage, (www.logtruck.co.nz) for people who may want to download these to add into their Health and Safety management plans.

LTSC AGM:

The Annual General meeting for the Log Transport Safety Council has been set down for Thursday the 30th of May 2013 in Rotorua; 2pm start, Water sports Building at the Rotorua Lakefront.

ACOP:

The launch for the revised ACOP was held early December, this document is available thru the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website, go to “Labour Information” and go to section “F”, the booklet is called the “Forest Operations – Approved code of Practice for Safety and Health 2012”.

The Forest Owners has being promoting the new code during March and April through their safety meetings.

0800 system:

The Council has been reviewing the current system and have recommended that the option of people making a comment thru our webpage, (www.logtruck.co.nz) we feel that by providing this option it would take away the need for a caller to use their mobile phone whilst driving.

We will advise operators when this option is implemented.

Fit for Road:

If you or your truck drivers are on Face book, look for the Fit for the Road face book page and ‘Like’ it.  Ask the Fit for the Road team questions about healthy eating, sleep apnea advice, motivational tips to get active and more.  Also, you can read information to help you make lifestyle changes.  Here is the direct link to the page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fit-for-the-Road/453802511350387?ref=hl

A very successful program has just been completed in the Lower North Island, the prize for the greatest weigh loss went to a truck driver from Raetihi who lost just over 21.5% of his body weight, and next best was the General Manager of the Business who lost just under 20% of his body weight. In total there were at least 10 people who lost more than 10% weight loss over the 3 month period, a very good result.

A new program has started in the East Coast area; if you would like more information on the program please contact the Secretary.

Trailer lifting chains:

It was Disappointing to hear that there were 2 incidents in a very short period of time, where the lifting chain on the trailer broke whilst the trailer was been lifted to be placed on the truck, one the trailer was 4 to 5 metres above the ground and the other only about 100mm off the ground. It was fortunate that there where now injuries only abit of structural damage.

The Industry standards relating to trailer lifting clearly outlines the responsibility to check the lifting chain with the Operator or his maintenance staff as outlined below:

Maintenance of lifting chains and fittings

Trailer lifting chain, anchor points and fittings must be inspected regularly and replaced if:

  • A link is visibly worn to 90% or less of its original diameter or is showing other visible evidence of loss of strength
  • There are any knots in the chain
  • There is a spread or distorted fitting
  • A link is weakened by gouges or pits reducing the diameter by 10% or more
  • Any link or fitting is noticeably bent, twisted stretched or has collapsed
  • Any weld, link, fitting or anchor point is cracked.
  • Any chain connectors are worn or damaged

Chains and fittings must not be repaired by welding.

Consider using alternatives to standard chain connectors if fittings are repeatedly damaged.

‘Fit For Duty – Driver Excellence’

The LTSC will be working with Fatigue Risk Management Solutions – (FRMS) on a program dealing with sleep apnea, this illness affects many in our Industry.

From recent research it has been acknowledged by both the LTSC and ACC that improving the health & wellness of drivers, benefits the commercial transport sector. However, one key health concern that is not currently provided for is the identification and treatment process for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, (OSA.)

Untreated OSA is known to contribute to serious fatigue related accidents and severe health consequences. Studies have shown that drivers with OSA have 2 to 15 times more frequent motor vehicle accidents compared to unaffected drivers. The transportation industry has been identified as having a higher than normal rate of OSA as well as an increased incidence of these three leading adult health care concerns; diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Normally during sleep, the airway is kept open by the muscles that control the tongue and soft palate, if the muscles relax too much, the airway becomes completely blocked, preventing breathing, this is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, OSA.

Due to interrupted sleep patterns, OSA suffers rarely have restorative rest, manifesting in some of the following problems:

  • 40% increase in excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Twice as many traffic accidents per KM
  • Threefold risk of occupational accidents
  • 1.3 to 2.5 times more hypertension
  • 3.9 times more likely to have congestive heart failure
  • 1.6 times increased chance of stroke
  • 1.4-2.3 times greater risk of heart attack
  • 40% increased risk of depression

The challenge for employees being diagnosed & treated for OSA is that as few as 10% of physicians even inquire about sleep apnea related symptoms during a health check.

Additionally there is limited education and awareness for the general public to even identify themselves as being at risk of the condition.

In light of this FRMS has put together New Zealand’s first workplace screening & treatment program for the commercial transport industry and we are excited to introduce the program to the Log Transport sector.

Alongside the program delivery, we have partnered with Smith & Davies in Northland to run a 5 year research pilot program so that we can gather local data on the direct results (both commercial and personally) for treating drivers with OSA. Our program has been modeled on successful international programs of which one US Company reported a 73% reduction in the accident rate among their drivers treated for OSA. We expect to see similar significant reductions in accidents and fatigue related incidences.

Graham Lowe will be the program ambassador, and FRMS offers:

  • Pre-screening OSA checks to identify high risk individuals
  • Diagnosis and confirmation of those with OSA
  • Prescribe the appropriate treatment program during one-on-one sleep physician consultation
  • Deploy the treatment, including CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machines
  • Monitor compliance
  • Educate individuals
  • Support (including for families of OSA sufferers)

In addition to this we plan to integrate the program with the LTSC & ACC Fit for the Road Program.

For operators who are interested in finding out more information on Workplace Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) screening and treatment program,   please contact:

Rachel Lehen
Fatigue Risk Management Solutions – FRMS
rachel@frms.co.nz
0800 627 763
www.frms.co.nz