The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Lumley Insurance Finds Experienced Drivers are More Accident Prone

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Analysis of accident claims made in the past three years to Lumley Insurance has shown that experienced truck drivers have more accident than the newcomers.

And 81 percent of the insurance companies costs come from these accidents caused by truck drivers.

According to the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA), a driver with between six to 10 years’ experience is more at risk of having a claimable accident.

The new research shows that there is a pattern regarding the cause and cost of truck accident claims in the dangerous goods industry.

Dangerous goods truck drivers appear take training and safety on board in their first few years on the job; but over time, complacency or lack of cultural reinforcement leads to an increase in the rate of accidents.

In response, the ACAPMA is calling for increased driver safety training and risk management initiatives.

Businesses need to focus on educating their drivers about the role they play in their own safety.

Drivers need to be taught how to analyse their own at-risk of behaviours and attitudes before getting behind the steering wheel.

It’s time for businesses to get proactive about training so the safety culture is improved just when experienced drivers become more relaxed about safety.

Two Darwin Businesses in Court over Gas-bottle Explosions

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Darwin company has been charged over the gas bottle explosion that killed Patrick "Paddy" Bird more than a year ago.

Mr Bird, 24, was killed when pressurized flammable gas cylinders left in his enclosed work van exploded outside his Parap home on December 16, 2011.

The ignition spark came from the remote central locking device on his car key as he opened the van door.

As a results, Damday Pty Ltd could now be fined up to $650,000 if the NT Work Health Authority can successfully secure a conviction.

Representatives of Damday appeared in Darwin Magistrates Court on Monday charged with failing to identify risks to health or safety arising from their own conduct.

The charges were laid under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Another Darwin company, Arafura Plumbing, has also been charged over a similar incident that occurred in July 2012.

Arafura Plumbing has been charged with reckless conduct that risked death or injury and failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

It could now be fined up to $3 million.

The authority laid the charges under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011.

In a statement, the authority said it would allege the practice of allowing pressurized flammable gas to be left in enclosed vehicles was considered a "hazard" to the health and safety of workers and members of the public due to the risk of an explosion.

The authority has to prove that Arafura Plumbing engaged in conduct "without reasonable excuse" to secure a conviction.

Both companies will re-appear in court next month.

Vehicle Roll Over in Queensland

Graham Marshall - Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Safety Alert shown below highlights the dangers of pulling onto the soft shoulder of narrow rural  bitumen roads when allowing larger vehicles to pass.

In the recent incident in Queensland, two workers narrowly avoided serious injury or a fatality when they lost control of a vehicle, resulting in a high speed roll over.

The vehicle had been driven off the road to accommodate an oncoming truck on a narrow regional road.

The driver lost control of the vehicle on the unsealed road whilst attempting to return to the bitumen.

The Safety Alert illustrates a number of key learning points which are worth sharing with drivers exposed to rural road conditions.

Accident Deaths in the UK

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Falling over at home is now twice has likely to kill people in the UK in relation to being killed in a car crash.

Since the early 1990s, when there were more people killed in car wrecks in the UK, the number of accidental deaths in the home has risen to about 5,000 per year.  But deaths in car accidents have fallen by a third to about 2,000 each year on UK roads.

The report into accidental death in the UK, published by the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents shows that falls account for most accidental deaths in the home; and accidental poisoning by carbon monoxide is another major killer.

The RSPA noted that road safety improvements have come about because of a systematic road safety strategy led by the Department for Transport, but that accident prevention in the home had been "sidelined" by the National Health Service (NHS) which focused exclusively on treating people rather than preventing harm.

Vehicle Roll-overs are a Common Problem

Graham Marshall - Monday, December 24, 2012

This Safety Alert from APPEA demonstrates how easy it is to lose control of a vehicle when driving on oil-field roads.

It's been our experience that oil-field roads all over the world pose particular threats to drivers; whether it be from high-traffic volumes, the movement of large vehicles, use of roads by non-oilfield traffic, broken pavement, narrow roads, blown sand, blown snow, or other problematic weather factors like ice, fog or rain.

In all cases, the key to oil-field driving is to slow down, take your time, and plan ahead.

After all, it doesn't matter how quickly you get there, what matters is how quickly you stop at the end.


Lucky escape for Bakken driver

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The driver of this vehicle in the North Dakota oil patch near Keene had very lucky escape when he decided to make a turn in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler!

Please think about your driving each day and get in the habit of practicing your "defensive  driving skills".

Light Globe Safety Tips

Graham Marshall - Friday, November 16, 2012

Question: How many psychologists does it take to change a light globe?

Answer: Only one - but the globe really has to want to change!

It's an old joke; but getting a shock or being killed when messing with electricity is not so funny.  So here are some tips as part of our electrical safety campaign which relate to the use of light globes around your home and office:

●  Use bulbs with the correct wattage. Higher wattage bulbs may cause overheating;

●  Always screw bulbs tightly; beware loose bulbs, which could cause shorts-circuits leading to electrical fires;

●  Always unplug or switch off the light or lamp before replacing a light bulb;
●  Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL);

●  CFL globes provide the same level of light at a lower wattage level.  So they're safer and better for the environment.  They'll also save you some money in the longer-term; and
●  If a CFL bulb breaks, open the windows and evacuate the room for 15 minutes before cleaning up the breakage.

Fog and Ice don't mix with driving too fast in North Dakota

Graham Marshall - Friday, November 09, 2012

We're seeing too many senseless road traffic accidents on roads in the Bakken in North Dakota.

Folks just need to slow down, concentrate a little harder and stop talking so much on the cell-phone when driving.

A colleague sent through these pictures he took the other day showing the results when a car hit a truck on a foggy and icy road.


You can judge for yourself who came off second best; but the message has to be to avoid this carnage as much as possible.

Slow down, take your time, concentrate on what you're doing.  Think of your kids every time you get behind the wheel. 


Prevent falls from trucks

Graham Marshall - Sunday, November 04, 2012

Every year, there are thousands of lost-time injuries (LTIs) which occur when drivers operating mobile heavy equipment and trucks fall or slip from their machines when climbing in or out of the cab or working on the tray.

Sprains, strains, fractures and other serious injuries occur when drivers jump down from all types of equipment, dismount from the cab of trucks, or fall from wet, slippery or poorly maintained access equipment.

Some drivers even lose their lives in these senseless accidents.

So, in order to control the risk, drivers of trucks and other large mobile equipment should always maintain three-points of contact when ascending into the cab or dismounting from the machine.

Other tips to control the risk of falling from a truck include:

●  Mount and dismount facing in toward the equipment;

●  Mount or dismount only when the vehicle is stationary;

●  Don't rush;

●  Don't jump off;

●  Get on and off equipment using the safest access point and using equipment installed by the manufacturer;

●  Keep access equipment free of threats that can cause tripping or falling (e.g., ice, mud, debris);

●  Perform regular inspections of equipment and replace any access equipment that is damaged; and

●  Maintain access equipment appropriately.

Insurance Costs Set to Rise for Fuel Tanker Drivers

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 29, 2012

Lumley Insurance has called for increased risk management in the fuel transportation industry in the wake of damning accident statistics over the past two years.

The number of major crashes involving the fuel tankers in Australia has increase by 30 per cent compared to the previous two years while the cost of these crashes to insurers has increased by over 90 per cent  in the same period.

Over 40 per cent of insurance claims relating to fuel tankers are due to rollovers at roundabouts.

While there are valid arguments about roundabout engineering and road cambers not being conducive to truck stability, legitimate questions need to be asked about the training and skills required to drive fuel tankers.

The fuel industry needs to implement effective risk management training not just to reduce the amount of accidents or even to reduce their insurance premiums but to increase the safety of our roads for everyone who uses them.

Lumley have been liaising with brokers and the industry on this issue, and recommend:

 Improved driver safety training – mandated to multiple times per year with a focus on operating heavy vehicles with care and consideration;

 Driver attitude training to deal with the frustration that comes with driving long distances;

 Safety placed before time constraints with incentives provided for driver safety record;

 On-board cameras to monitor the road and the driver, with the footage captured, used to educate drivers;

 GPS tracking of trucks so that companies can monitor the speed of their drivers;

 ‘How’s my driving?’ stickers on the back of vehicles for the public to report poor driving behaviour; and

 Rosters similar to that of the airline industry where drivers aren’t allowed to drive unless they have had a certain amount of rest.

The tanker truck industry needs to acknowledge that if safety standards don’t change, insurers will have little choice but to increase prices and deductibles significantly to cover the cost of these accidents.

Furthermore, the capacity of insurers to underwrite fuel risks may also be limited to writing risks that can demonstrate good risk management processes.

The cost of accidents caused by fuel tanker rollovers isn’t just a financial one. It’s now time for the fuel industry to do more to ensure that they are improving the safety of our roads for ALL road users.

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