Lead-footed drivers to see the light - safety conference hears

Published:18 October 2016

1.: Mock Court participants L-R Elise Crawford, Bill Dell, Peter Marshall, David Skegg, Kevin Perry, Aldo Raineri, Frank Bogna, Karen Klockner and Professor Geoff Dell. 2. Accident Forensics students witness the mock court. 3. Conference presenter Brianna Hickson-Warr. 4. The conference in session.

CQUniversity's hosting of a major Transport and Safety Sciences event this week enabled students to participate in conference sessions among the dozens of experienced professionals and academics who attended.

Having recently completed an internship with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, final-year Accident Forensics student Brianna Hickson-Warr gave a presentation focusing on trials of a new type of vehicle-activated signage in Central Queensland.

"As rural roads are over-represented in crash statistics, the first of these new signs will be installed on a rural road crossing the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road," Brianna says.

"If drivers are approaching the intersection at speeds above a default speed then the LED lights will flash to warn them."

Appropriately during National Work Safe Month, presenters at the Future Paradigms in Transport and Safety Sciences 2016 Conference raised issues across the fields of crowd safety, working at heights on trucks, chemical use, asbestos, ergonomics and aged care.

The program included presentations from CQUni's transdisciplinary team of academics, PhD and Masters (by research) students and the presentation of final-year professional practice research projects from Master of Safety Sciences, Bachelor of Accident Forensics and Bachelor of Occupational Health & Safety students.

As a lead-up to the Conference, CQUni's Transport and Safety Sciences team hosted a mock Magistrate's Court trial to demonstrate the case of an employee who fell from a pallet that was on the elevated tines of a forklift, while fixing a business sign.

"The matter has been instigated by the OHS regulator against the employer pursuant to the Work Health & Safety Act," said CQUniversity Senior Lecturer in Accident Investigation Kevin Perry.

"The employer pleaded 'not guilty' which led to the trial. The purpose of this mock trial was not only provide an insight into the court system, but also to demonstrate to students that the actions and conduct of their investigations could be scrutinised in court down the track."

Adding to the veracity of the mock trial, a range of CQUniversity academics who took part have directly relevant professional backgrounds. Lecturer David Skegg is a former Bench Justice, lecturer Aldo Raineri is a former solicitor, senior lecturer Kevin Perry is a former safety inspector and senior lecturer Bill Dell is a former court prosecutor.