Changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws are coming on 1 October 2018. These changes align CoR laws more closely with workplace health and safety laws.
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 consignor 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
Contracts that require a driver to break the law are illegal!
In a prosecution, the courts may consider the actions of each party in the supply chain. This includes what measures those parties have in place to prevent breaches of the HVNL occurring. Each party in the chain must demonstrate to the Court that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the contravention or show the court that there were no steps they could reasonably be expected to have taken to prevent the contravention.
TruckSafe is continuing to develop best-practice policies and procedures to ensure all of it’s accredited members will satisfy Chain of Responsibility obligations when the new laws are introduced on October 1.
TruckSafe will also be one of the first accreditation schemes to comply with the new Master Industry Code of Practice.
Industry customers and supply chains are increasingly looking to TruckSafe operators to ensure they meet their CoR obligations, with the knowledge that the accreditation meets all HVNL requirements.
TruckSafe accreditation enables you to verify to customers that you are reducing their risks through safe work practices, safe and well maintained trucks, healthy drivers and sound management systems.
To download a TruckSafe info pack click here.
For more information and tools on Chain of Responsibility please visit the NHVR website.
*Information on CoR reproduced with permission from the NHVR