Changes to the Chain of Responsibility

On 1 October 2018, the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will be amended to provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities. In practical terms, this primary duty represents an obligation to eliminate or minimise potential harm or loss (risk) by doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure safety. As a party in the supply chain, the best way to do this is to have safety management systems and controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes that:

  • identify, assess, evaluate, and control risk
  • manage compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards requirements through identified best practice
  • involve regular reporting, including to executive officers
  • document or record actions taken to manage safety.

Is your business ready?

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is holding industry information sessions across the country to explain the changes to COR, the impact on your business and how a Safety Management System can help you effectively manage your operation’s safety risks. There are also a number of Fact sheets, a Gap Assessment Tool to enable you to examine your business practices and a number of guides to help you with your risk management.

If you are part of the supply chain, make sure you are aware of your role and responsibilities.  Read More Here

Chain of Responsibility

The aim of COR is to make sure everyone in the supply chain shares responsibility for ensuring breaches of the HVNL do not occur. Under COR laws if you are named as a party in the chain of responsibility and you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure the HVNL is complied with.

The law recognises that multiple parties may be responsible for offences committed by the drivers and operators of heavy vehicles. A person may be a party in the supply chain in more than one way. For example they may have duties as the employer, the operator and the consigner of goods.

Legal liability applies to all parties for their actions or inactions.

Who are parties in the supply chain?

The parties in the Chain of Responsibility for a heavy vehicle are:

  • an employer of a driver
  • a prime contractor for a vehicle if the vehicles driver is self-employed
  • an operator of the vehicle
  • a scheduler for the vehicle
  • a loading manager for any goods in the vehicle
  • a loader and/or unloader of a vehicle
  • a consignor of any goods for transport by the vehicle
  • a consignee of any goods in the vehicle
  • a loader and/or unloader of any goods in the vehicle.

When could COR apply?

Some examples include:

  • heavy vehicle driver breaches of fatigue management requirements or speed limits
  • heavy vehicle driver breaches of mass, dimension, or loading requirements
  • where any instructions, actions or demands to parties in the supply chain causes or contributes to an offence under the HVNL.

That includes anything done, or not done (directly or indirectly) that has an impact on compliance, for example:

  • schedulers whose business practices place unrealistic timeframes on drivers which cause them to exceed their work rest options
  • loading managers whose business practices, including loading/unloading times, cause the driver to exceed the speed limit.