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Is it worth undertaking your own heavy vehicle freight tasks?

July 28, 2016

Many companies often weigh up the pros and cons of taking control of their freight tasks while presently relying on contractors to do the job. Some senior managers are concerned about their liability and compliance under Chain of Responsibility (CoR) and struggle to answer the question: “Is it all really worth it?”

Geoff Farnsworth, partner at Holding Redlich and Editor-in-Chief of CoR Adviser, says before undertaking your own freight tasks, consider the following points:

1. If you do, you’ll also have to comply with WHS obligations. Any business operating heavy vehicles will most likely also have work health and safety (WHS) obligations. CoR is conceptually very similar to WHS legislation, and is predicted to become more similar.

2. It’s likely to reduce your exposure to risk. Really? Yes, there is every chance that operating your own heavy vehicles will reduce your exposure to CoR, not increase it. Users of heavy vehicle services are as involved in CoR as providers of these services and may in fact be less able to manage those risks than you and your company.

3. CoR compliance is not an absolute concept. A ‘negative’ to undertaking your own heavy freight tasks is that it is almost impossible to say with certainty whether a business is, at any particular time, CoR compliant or not.

It is implicit in CoR that the senior manager of a company cannot make a guarantee to the board that the company is compliant. But what the senior person can do is assure the board that the company has the necessary systems in place to do what they can to make sure the company is compliant, and also to adapt these systems as situations and technologies change.

This last point is particularly important as CoR obligations undergo changes in 2016.

There is much to consider before deciding what tasks you will undertake that may currently be outside of your normal business practices.

But for assistance with your CoR obligations, the best place to find help is by subscribing to CoR Adviser, which has all your information, advice and tips located in the one, quick and easy-to-read monthly newsletter.

Subscribe today and benefit from our experts’ advice on this tricky and somewhat misunderstood subject.