If you’re a retailer in a shopping centre or a Home Co, or an owner/operator of premises in an industrial park, this recent case regarding traffic management may be of interest to you.

A retailer has avoided prosecution for breaches of the work health safety legislation in the Northern Territory this month by entering into an enforceable undertaking with the safety regulator, promising to spend nearly $1.8 million on capital upgrades to the back docks infrastructure and enhancing its traffic management controls. The enforceable undertaking includes research funding into continuous control monitoring through th

e use of digital technology in dock areas and development of a Retail Dock Safety Guide. (Keep a watch out for this guide on the Northern Territory WorkSafe website.)

The enforceable undertaking came about as a result of an incident whereby a man was fatally run over by a prime mover of a subcontractor of a transport company while sleeping in the retailer’s loading dock. In March this year, the transport company pleaded guilty in court and was fined $154,000, having failed to properly train or induct the subcontractor to ensure he complied with procedures that required drivers to physically check both ends of a vehicle for pedestrians before moving the vehicle.

You should regularly review your traffic management plan to ensure it includes appropriate controls to manage the risks of vehicle movements and loading/unloading. Events that may trigger further review of your traffic management plan include:

  • vehicle and/or pedestrian traffic movement increases in or around the loading dock.
  • changes to loading dock infrastructure affecting visibility of vehicle and pedestrian movements.
  • parking location of vehicles, bins etc restrict visibility.
  • rre there clear and visible markings, signs , mirrors, warning lights, video messaging etc in the loading dock?
  • do you have new or upgraded premises with a loading dock area? You should ensure a new or updated traffic management plan is in place.

If you don’t currently have a traffic management plan for traffic and pedestrian movements in and around your premises, you need to implement one to manage the risk of serious or fatal injury.

You can read a summary of the undertaking here.