TRAMM on track for army mods
Employee safety high priority
June 7, 2001
OVER the past decade the army and defence have been restructured, reformed
and reinvented but a planned reform in the way the army regulates its technical
processes will capitalise on the spirit of change.
A pilot implementation of a revised technical regulatory framework scheduled
for the second half of this year in 1 Bde will introduce a system for technical
The new Technical Regulation of Army Material Manual (TRAMM) will deliver
a much-needed holistic framework to ensure maximum safety in army materiel.
Employer responsibility is driving the change. Reform in society means doing
more with less while the emphasis on OH&S places increased focus on duty
Defence also has these responsibilities. A survey in one formation discovered
70 unauthorised modifications to materiel.
An inappropriate modification to a fuel line on HMAS Westralia in 1998 claimed
four lives. A subcontractor installed a replacement line in the engine room
and an unqualified officer signed off the work.
The revised framework is not a policy to outlaw necessary maintenance. Essentially,
trades people will have the freedom to make necessary modifications while
the safety and serviceability -- technical integrity -- of materiel is assured.
Head Technical Regulatory Policy, Graham Smith, said the emphasis was on
a holistic perspective.
"If you have a way of doing things that was appropriate in Vietnam it is
not necessarily correct now," he said.
Local modifications to Mack fuel tanks are a typical case. Additional tanks
have been fitted to the vehicles to meet requirements of extended driving
Even so, only three of the four methods of modification were sound from
an engineering perspective. The new framework will ensure these kinds of
modifications are authorised as part of the system and rectified if necessary
-- not banned.
Army-wide implementation will be completed late 2003 and a DI (G) will provide
an ADF guideline for the Technical Regulatory Framework.
Head of the Army Implementation Team, Lt-Col Michael Hall, said the brigade
formation was the smallest organisation that could be tested in one go.
"We will give extensive briefings to anyone and everyone concerned, we also
have created a new position for an engineer who will have a key role in
the brigade for the regulatory framework," he said.
"Amendments such as windscreen stickers to detail new equipment classifications
are typical of physical changes. Most importantly, user feedback will be
a critical gauge the new framework's effectiveness."