If you regularly engage contractors to collect and deliver your freight, whether from the manufacturer or a storage facility or from storage to the end-user, how can you make sure you are complying with your obligations with respect to fatigue under the HVNL?
To the best of your abilities, you should pre-qualify your contractors. This will include providing contractors with a Chain of Responsibility (CoR) questionnaire, which should establish that they understand what their CoR obligations are and how they are going about making sure they are compliant.
You should then review your contract documents, both with your customers and with the contractors to make sure they reflect your obligations and your zero-tolerance approach to CoR breaches, including breaches related to fatigue.
Finally, make sure that your customers and those who interact with your contractors know about your policy, and encourage them to call you if they have any concerns about the contractors you are engaging.
If anyone raises any concerns about your contractors, speak to the contractor and/or share your concerns with the regulator, e.g. the Roads and Maritime Services if you operate in NSW. Even if they choose not to take any action, at least you have demonstrated that you take your obligations seriously.
And finally, make sure you keep records, and that you follow through with any complaints or concerns raised. The quicker you can address these issues, the sooner you will be protecting yourself against any possible breaches.
The complexities surrounding CoR can be confusing and frustrating to many companies. To help you navigate through the CoR maze, Portner Press has created CoR Adviser, written by the transport experts at Holding Redlich.
Don’t be left wondering what your CoR obligations are – and those of third parties. Get the facts in plain English, all in the one place, by subscribing to CoR Adviser.
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