The Australian Trucking Association and the Australian Logistics Council have formed a joint venture entity to prepare a Registered Industry Code of Practice (Code) for compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
A Code is a document that is registered under the HVNL. It must provide guidance to industry participants on how they can comply with the HVNL, including guidance on CoR risk assessment and the design and implementation of control and performance monitoring measures.
The HVNL provides that a Court can look at a Code to determine the general standard of industry knowledge on hazard and risk identification and control and what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to avoid or minimise those risks. That is, a Code provides legally defensible evidence of what risks parties in the Chain should be addressing and the range of suitable ways to deal with them.
However, a Code will always be a general guide only and cannot tell every supply chain participant precisely what to do in every circumstance. So, supply chain participants will still need to develop and implement their own systems and practices that fit within the guidance contained in a Code in order to get the defence benefits provided by a Code.
Compliance accreditation schemes, such as TruckSafe, help to fill that gap and provide supply chain participants with a compliance system and working procedures that help address the risks and other matters identified in a Code. Compliance with an accreditation scheme can therefore form part of your evidence of compliance with a Code and, therefore, the HVNL.
The TruskSafe Board recently held a workshop at which they discussed the upcoming Code and plans to ensure that the TruckSafe scheme was adapted as necessary to align with the Code (once registered) to ensure that TruckSafe accreditation would help provide valuable evidence of an accredited operator’s compliance with the Code and therefore the HVNL.