PODW Program aims to keep forest workers safe

Fatigue, inattention and complacency are just some of the ‘human factors’ that can contribute to the cause of heavy and light vehicle crashes in the forest industry, according to Dr Alan Pincott, Director of Australian Trucking Safety Services & Solutions.

The Australian Forest Contractors Association has recently joined with ATSSS and KJ Training and Consulting to deliver a new program which aims to guide participants to adopt a proactive, intrinsically motivated view of solutions to driving challenges.

The Professional Ownership and Driver Wellbeing (PODW) Program is funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and is part of the 2019 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government. This Program will deliver over 30 free forestry sessions across Australia, which will provide fundamental psychoeducation tools aimed specifically at drivers, management and staff within the forest industry who are at highest risk of a heavy vehicle accident.

The Association said the PODW Program was born from a need to assist drivers and management to collaboratively develop personal management tools and will challenge participants to examine personal ownership and responsibility for their own and the community’s safety, and show them how to develop a personal risk reduction plan.

“The 2.5-hour program session is evidence-based and builds on key learning outcomes from the Heavy Vehicle Rollover Awareness Program,” a spokesperson from the AFCA said.

“The aim is of the PODW program is to guide participants to adopt a proactive, intrinsically motivated view of solutions to driving challenges including those caused by these ‘human factors’,

“Over 700 drivers will benefit from this course across Australia, which we hope will vastly improve heavy vehicle safety, reduce road incidents and ultimately make all roads safer.”

The free sessions will run in Tasmania on Monday 22 March (Launceston), Tuesday 23 March (Burnie) and Thursday 25 March (Hobart). Places are limited and interested parties are encouraged to register by emailing office@afca.asn.au.

More information on the sessions can be found here.