Transport sector should raise glass to mining industry | Infrastructure news

Road accident statistics show that the transportation sector plays a significant role in the rate of accidents and fatalities on our roads.

As recommended by World Health Organisation, a more regulated environment is essential. This needs to include the enforcement and auditing of daily, compulsory breathalyser testing and random drug testing as well as comprehensive alcohol and substance abuse policies, training and education.

The South African mining industry is an excellent example of how effective regulation and tight controls can help to curb the levels of drinking on the job, improving risk and ensuring adherence to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.

The mining industry is regulated with compulsory testing of all employees upon entering the premises before they can begin work. The Department of Mineral Resources ensures compliance to this requirement by performing regular audits of the mines, during which operations can be shut down until the mine managers can prove they have been performing adequate testing.

A similar practice needs to be adopted within the transport sector, with best practices requiring drivers to be tested before they are permitted to take out vehicles, as well as upon their return to ensure they have not been drinking while on the job.

This process must be audited and enforced in order to ensure accountability and compliance with legal driving limits and daily compulsory breathalyser testing.

Transport organisations also need to enforce a zero tolerance approach to driving under the influence, not only to ensure the safety of road users but also to comply with the OHS Act.

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