Truck driving - it's is a risky business. According to Safe Work Australia, around 5,000 workers comp claims are made per annum - that's an average of 14 claims per day. Traumatic joint and muscles injuries, sprains and strains accounted for 62% of all claims and resulted in about five weeks off work for many drivers.

Read on to learn about:

  • Why manual manhole covers are a serious safety issue
  • Your legal responsibilities for Workplace Health and Safety
  • Why Pivotal Edge makes safety sense

Manual manhole covers are a serious safety issue

Our bodies are like trucks; we need to care for them. Unlike trucks, our bodies can't be replaced.

Safe Work Australia has identified the following risks for truckies and using manual manholes exposes drivers to at least three of these risks, specifically:

  • Working at heights
  • Manual Handling
  • Airborne Hazards

Tanker-tops can be dusty - potentially hazardous powders near the hatches can be inhaled, causing respiratory issues.

Climbing stairs and ladders - busy drivers in metro regions may climb a ladder 6 - 8 times per day.

Climbing onto the tanker top - which can be wet and icy. Serious injuries some causing permanent disabilities, can and have occurred, even with safety rails

Manually opening and closing the hatch - which requires bending, working below foot level and exerting considerable physical force. Some transport companies attribute 2 to 3 field injuries per month due to this task.

To make matters worse, drivers are exposed to these risks hundreds of times every year. On average a bulk truck driver does 2 - 3 loads per day, 260 days per annum. For a tanker with one hatch that means 520 - 780 opens and closes - even if you don't have an accident, that's real wear and tear on your body.

Clearly, when it comes to injury risk, using manual manhole covers is madness. Talk about a hundred ways to hurt yourself!

You are legally responsible for safety

Under Australian law, all employers are responsible for preventing work related injuries caused by manual tasks - and training drivers to work with care just won't cut it. State Work Health and Safety manuals advise "always consider a design option as your first option for control" (of a risk).

A study by the Construction Materials Industry2 identified remote hatches as the only solution that would eliminate injury risks associated with loading.


  1. Referenced from Work Health and Safety Qld Manual Tasks
  2. IQA-CCAA Construction Materials Industry Conference Oct 2006

Why Pivotal Edge hatches make safety sense

With Pivotal Edge, hatches are operated from ground level, with just the touch of a pneumatic button - it just makes safety sense. With Pivotal Edge hatches you will:

  • ELIMINATE the risks of working at heights to load
  • AVOID the risks of working at heights to load
  • CUT exposure to airborne hazards
  • REDUCE time pressures by cutting load time. Read more here

This means:

  • no more falls, slips and trips,
  • no knee injuries,
  • no more back injuries,
  • no more strains,
  • no nasty pinches,
  • reduced fatigue and
  • less exposure to harmful dust whilst loading.

Do you have a need for an innovative solution for your business?

Call 02 8315 8440 and talk to our team today.