Vehicle use on public roads is the most significant contributor to work-related traumatic injury and fatalities. Safe Work Australia’s Work-related traumatic Injury fatalities, released annually, provides national statistics on all workers, drivers or passengers who have died as a result of a vehicle collision. The report also details bystander fatalities also due to vehicle collision but where their death was a result of another person’s work activity and who was not engaged in a work activity of their own at the time of the injury.

Australian state and territory WHS and road safety authorities, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and other key stakeholders have collaborated to develop Vehicles as a workplace, an integrated WHS guide for firms, organisations and individuals who use vehicles for work purposes on the road networks of Australia or New Zealand.

This guide promotes safe systems of work for road-based travel. It does not prescribe specific safety actions or provide an exhaustive list of risk controls in order to achieve a safe system of work. It provides a framework and supporting advice for organisations to consider and manage road traffic safety risks within their work environment. The use of this framework should allow organisations to develop the policies and procedures they need to ensure that they meet their obligations to provide a safe workplace.

All types of vehicles used for work purposes are covered in the guide, which complements other guidance material on the legislative requirements that apply to businesses whose primary purpose is transport, such as bus, truck or taxi operators.