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NHVR tells operators to be ready for changes

March 22, 2018

The NHVR’s well-travelled Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Manager, Kym Farquharson-Jones, has been traversing Australia outlining to many of the 165,000 businesses that make up the heavy vehicle supply chain the forthcoming changes to CoR.

“These changes are a significant step forward in recognising that everyone in the supply chain has a role to play in heavy vehicle safety,” Ms Farquharson-Jones says.

While addressing primary producers who she said had an important role to play in supporting safe and reliable road transport, Ms Farquharson-Jones’ message was equally important for other industry sectors who are affected by CoR and the changes due mid this year.

“Amendments to the CoR laws coming later this year will align the existing laws more closely with workplace health and safety provisions,” she said.

“This means that all parties in the chain … must proactively reduce risks related to the safety of heavy vehicle transport tasks. Although the laws will change, they will still only apply to activities that a person or business has responsibility for and could influence. In other words, no-one will be liable for breaches they cannot control.”

Some of the warnings she had for primary producers apply equally across the entire industry.

For example:

  • Avoid requests, instructions, requirements or demands that may influence the driver to speed or drive while fatigued — whether written in a contract or made verbally.
  • Ensure loads are ready on time so that a driver is not unduly delayed and pressured to speed or exceed fatigue hours.
  • Ensure safe access, while on your property, for the heavy vehicles and advise drivers of any relevant local knowledge.
  • Ensure you consult with your transporter and other parties in the chain when setting timeframes for pick-up and delivery.

What else should parties in the Chain do?

Ms Farquharson-Jones advises to use operators that provide safe and compliant transport activities.

Consult your provider to ensure any safety risks are understood and steps are taken to mitigate those risks,” she says.

… and if you operate your own heavy vehicle?

The most relevant areas of responsibility for you will include:
Know what and how much is loaded onto your vehicle, how the weight is distributed and how the load is restrained.

Ensure that the vehicle is fit for purpose, mechanically safe and legally able to be used on a road.

Don’t drive while fatigued and don’t work longer than you are allowed to by the law.

Understand the safety risks that your activities pose to the transport task – including packing goods for transport, scheduling travel and delivery times, and the impacts of delays in loading and unloading trucks.

Avoid requests, instructions, requirements or demands that may influence the driver to speed or drive while fatigued — whether written in a contract or made verbally.

What else can you do?

Subscribers to CoR Adviser, the monthly newsletter written in plain English by the transport lawyers at Holding Redich, have access to information that would normally cost hundreds or thousands of dollars if you sought independent legal advice.

Articles are tailored to address CoR issues, and also include checklists, hints and tips, legal definitions and all the information you need to adhere to the CoR laws – information you won’t find in the mass media or with a simple Google search.

Subscribe today to ensure you don’t miss a thing, especially as the changes to CoR are only a few months away.