Transport, postal and warehousing
Activities performed by businesses in the transport, postal and warehousing industry include:
- transportation of passengers and freight by road, rail, water or air
- support services for passenger and freight transport including stevedoring services, harbour services, navigation services, airport operations and customs agency services
- postal services, pipeline transport and scenic and sightseeing transport
- goods warehousing and storage activities.
Transport is a diverse industry including outdoor work, driving and working with heavy machinery and plant.
And each workplace is different. You need to know what the hazards are in your business so you can assess the risk they pose.
To help you get started, we’ve prepared information on how to identify hazards and manage the risks common to the transport, postal and warehousing industry.
Significantly, this industry has a high rate of injury and fatalities. There are a vast range of activities and workplaces across this industry and each workplace presents its own safety challenges.
Compared to all NSW industries, the transport, postal and warehousing industry has a higher percentage of major claims.
Hazardous manual tasks is the most frequent cause of claims, accounting for approximately 43 per cent of all claims followed by falls, being hit by or hitting objects and vehicle accidents.
For every 1,000 workers in the sector, on average, 41 workers sustain a workplace injury or disease leading to a claim compared to 28 workers in all industries in NSW.
Transport, postal and warehousing accounted for the largest number of fatalities in NSW between 2003 and 2015.
34 people died in transport, postal and warehousing in the three years between 2012/13 - 2015/16.
The causes of 'non-road' related fatalities within the sector include:
- muscular stress while handling, lifting, carrying or putting down objects
- slips, trips and falls from same level
- falls from heights
- being hit by moving objects
- being trapped between stationary and moving objects
Resources to help you
As the work health and safety regulator in NSW, we have a wide range of technical, business, management and support services to help you make your business safer.
The NOBODY is Built for Impact campaign aims to drive down injuries in the transport sector.
Our 'resource' and 'hazard' libraries
We also have extensive information that will help you improve and review your risk management processes. This includes videos, checklists, training and supervisory information, and safety alerts.
SafeWork Australia also has a fact sheet on developing a hazardous chemicals register.
Our safety management resources
Our Safety starts here section has a range of essential resources including:
- business must haves like emergency plans and first aid
- the basics for physical safety at work
- the basics for mental health at work
Our business resources
Our safety support services
If you employ fewer than 50 workers, you can book request a workplace advisory visit by one of our SafeWork inspectors who will help you identify hazards and develop risk management procedures.
Our mentor program, where other businesses work with you to improve safety in your workplace, is also a valuable addition to your risk management program.
You can call us on 13 10 50 at any time for assistance in finding the services you need quickly.
- Unpacking shipping containers
- Falls from flatbed trucks and trailers
- Working safely around forklifts
- Working with split rims
- Getting in and out of a prime mover safely
- Getting in and out of a truck cab safely
- Loading pallets onto a truck tray safely
- Unloading pallets from a truck tray safely
- Moving around safely during loading and unloading
- Uncontrolled movement of vehicles
- Recall of unsafe gas filters which can be attached to shigematsu respirator masks used in workplaces
- Removal of unsafe emergency escape breathing devices from vehicles and workplaces
- Unpacking glass sheets
- Hydraulic equipment and systems - hazards and safe practices for operation and maintenance
- Working with sheet materials
- Using towing trailers incorrectly
- Using cheater bars on dogs is dangerous
- Working with or around mobile plant
- Switchloading transferring flammable liquids
- Working with sheet materials
- Immobilising heavy vehicles and trailers
Keeping up to date with SafeWork
Get into the habit of checking our website twice a week for updates on your legislative obligations, on current incidents and prosecutions, for new safety tips and general health and safety information.
Subscribe to the SafeWork Wrap, our monthly newsletter, which contains safety tips, general information, industry updates, and news about our prosecutions and enforceable undertakings.
Keeping up to date with your industry
Subscribe to industry publications and join your industry group. For workers across the industry, the Australian Services Union (ASU) and the United Services Union (USUS) offer support and representation organisation.
Other industrial and trade organisations
Australian Federation of Air Pilots (general commercial) (AFAP)
The SDA NSW represents workers in the warehousing sector.
Young drivers talk about what can happen on the road
Watch video interviews with the winners of the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) Young Driver of the Year Award who talk about key harms in the transport industry.
Be truck aware
'While trucks have many safety features like extra mirrors, they do have blind spots.
Truck drivers are looking out for you, so you should look out for them – it’s a shared responsibility.
See what happened when experienced car drivers sat in the truck driver’s seat.
Get healthy at work
Get healthy at work is a free workplace health service that helps you:
- make healthier food choices
- maintain a healthy body weight
- become more physically active
- quit smoking
- reduce harmful alcohol use.
The free service gives you all the tools, resources and support you need to develop a simple yet effective workplace health program. This can include access to an accredited workplace health provider.
The NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (WHS Regulation) define the obligations both employers and workers have to health and safety in the workplace.
You can find a complete breakdown of business operations that fall within the administrative and support services industry from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).