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Road Safety Update

December 16, 2022
We are leading into the Christmas period which is traditionally the busiest time for the asphalt and road maintenance industry, so we want to remind everybody of  the usual risks involved in road maintenance and repair – hot, windy, wet and dusty conditions which we know put AWU members at risk when exposed to these unsafe environments  – The increase in  traffic volumes, impatient/aggressive driver behaviour, and the increase in Christmas parties and the likelihood of drivers driving under the influence.

There are rarely provisions put in place to ensure the highest forms of risk control to ensure workers safety in normal work circumstances. Our members are in the elements every day, without adequate breaks, access to basic amenities (cool water, toilets etc) or respite from the inclement climatic conditions faced during the summer period.

The pressure to get the work done before the Christmas break is always immense, but off the back of covid and the floods, we are seeing unprecedented pressure to perform and complete these critical works so as to not affect the travelling public and supply lines, without considering these adverse effects on the workers.

The recent flood events have put increased demand on fixing the road network that was already at crisis point, with potholes abundant in every direction across the state prior to the flooding. All of our road crews – Asphalt, Traffic Control, Profiling, Spray-seal, Road Maintenance, Slurry, Civil Construction and Incident Response are impacted by the increased pressure to fix these roads to a point that is safe for the public.

Most of our Metro Crews are travelling long distances outside of the metro area and working long, hard days in these conditions and travelling home again, so this is a reminder to bring to everybody’s attention of the high-risk work that our members perform every day to keep the community safe on the roads and to ensure freight and supply lines are servicing the communities at this most vital time.

Most importantly, the Government, Regulators, Employers and the Community need to understand these risks our members face every day so they can play their part to ensure workers come home from work safely when planning for the completion of these critical, emergency works and everyone can have a safe holiday period with their families.

“The AWU has been representing members in the asphalt industry for decades, and we continue to advocate for greater awareness regarding the many variable occupational health and safety concerns that our members face daily.”

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