ARRB on behalf of VicRoads is undertaking a review of the effectiveness of organisational approaches to the management of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) among truck drivers.
The project commenced with a thorough review of the literature relating to the impacts of AOD on drivers, as well as management programs and processes for establishing AOD policy. It was also crucial to obtain anecdotal evidence by conducting interviews with heavy vehicle operators across a wide range of industry segments, together with stakeholders such as consignors, insurers, providers of testing services. Transport operators were also engaged via a survey, as well as consultation with industry leaders from the rail and aviation sectors.
The outcome was the development of a new framework which would enable transport operators to formulate procedures and AOD policy, specific to the requirements of their organisation.
The framework covered AOD issues at the recruitment and induction stages, AOD education and training, on the job testing, action in the event of a breach, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs. It also distinguished between procedures which were mandatory for every operator and those which were optional â€“ identifying actions that VicRoads and other agencies could consider in facilitating the process.
The project also developed a complementary framework to enable consignors to ensure carriers were meeting their AOD requirements as outlined in their contracts.
Now in the final stages of completion, the project involved the close collaboration of ARRB experts and other consultants who are now onto the next stage of the project lifecycle - the development of a pilot program.
It is expected that upon implementation of the research, AOD management within the whole supply chain will be considerably improved. Consigners can use the straightforward framework to ensure their AOD contractual requirements are met and monitored and the entire sector benefits from a single, consistent and streamlined approach.