FRASERS Livestock Transport has taken out a national workplace safety award for an innovative cross-loading module, designed and custom-built in their Warwick workshop.
Director Ross Fraser OAM accepted this year's award for Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue from 11 finalists nationwide during a ceremony in Canberra on Monday night.
The ninth annual National Safe Work Australia Awards were held in Old Parliament House.
This year, 37 finalists from a range of industries competed across four categories, drawn from winners in earlier state and regional workplace safety awards.
Judges said the Frasers' cross-loading module stood out as an original and comprehensive solution to a complex issue.
"The most difficult part of our job, safety-wise, is transferring stock from roadtrains to B-Doubles to comply with designated route restrictions, so we developed the cross-loader to minimise risk," Ross Fraser said.
"I never imagined we would receive an award for this. It was designed to meet a need."
During his time in the transport industry Mr Fraser said he had seen a huge changes, particularly in the realm of workplace health and safety.
"Companies and staff are more and more aware of risks," he said.
"Training is more important now and people acknowledge the safety standards put in place."
Mr Fraser said the award was a huge recognition for both the company and those who put time and effort in to build and design the module.
Australian Trucking Association chair Noelene Watson said the award recognised Frasers' commitment to safety and its workers.
"By developing a special cross-loading module, Frasers has addressed a long standing safety issue in the livestock transport industry," Mrs Watson said.
"The module also reduces the time it takes to cross-load stock crates, which shows - once again - that good safety can often be good business as well.
"Right across the trucking industry, businesses are taking inspiration from companies like Frasers and improving their safety.
"Even one injury or accident is too many, but we are heading in the right direction."
To minimise the risks associated with cross-loading of cattle from road trains to B-Double configurations, the company researched, designed and custom-built the cross-loading module.
Transferring or cross-loading cattle between trailers is considered one of the most dangerous activities along the cattle transport supply chain.
It exposes drivers to risks like working at heights, confined spaces, poor or no light conditions and unpredictable livestock.
The module eliminates risks in the cross-loading stage within a high-risk industry, and has resulted in dramatic improvements to safety and productivity, the citation said.
It incorporates a series of elevated platforms, over-trailer walkways and sliding gates/barriers to greatly improve operational safety.
The unique solution has not only resulted in a dramatic improvement in driver safety, efficiency and staff morale but it has also created a strong interest in the broader Australian cattle transport and grazing industry to build additional cross-loading modules.