Identification of potential safety risks associated with heavy vehicle cabin designs

Kristie Lee Young, Michael Graeme Lenne

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


This project aimed to identify the risks associated with a sample of truck cabin designs currently in use at Toll and drivers’ interactions with the on-board systems, including the systems used for communication purposes with supervisors/operations and safety-based warning systems. A suite of methods were used in the project to identify the functions and tasks undertaken by Toll drivers and identify the risks posed by these tasks and the in-cabin equipment and systems used by drivers. This included an examination of relevant Toll documentation; walk through/talk through interviews with a small sample of Toll drivers, driver trainers and OH&S managers; observation drives on a number of different routes; a distraction-based ergonomic assessment; development of a Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA); and a modified Systematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) Human Error Identification analysis.Results of the task and error analysis revealed that Toll drivers perform many control and monitoring tasks while driving and potentially interact with a wide range of in-cabin equipment. A range of specific and general risks with the in-cabin systems and setups used by Toll were also identified. These included the potential for driver overload, exposure to a high number of system and vehicle warnings, the poor ergonomic design of some system warnings, and a general lack of knowledge among the small sample of drivers interviewed regarding the functionality, benefits and limitations of the advanced safety systems, all of which could result in driver distraction and confusion about the type of warning being issued and, in turn, to the wrong type of action being performed for the situation, or drivers taking longer to react to the threat. A range of general and specific recommendations are provided to reduce the risks identified with the heavy vehicle in-cabin setups and systems used by Toll.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyToll Holdings Ltd
Number of pages47
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Heavy vehicles
  • Safety
  • Human Machine Interaction
  • in-cabin risk

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