Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Work Health and Safety Act (WHSA), authorised officers and inspectors have a broad range of powers.
The role of inspectors is to ensure the safety of all parties within the supply chain and to ensure on-road and off-road compliance under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR).
Here, we discuss the general powers that inspectors have to enter premises and demand information under the CoR.
4 key issues inspectors focus on
Inspectors will largely focus on the following issues:
- Checking a vehicle’s compliance with mass and dimension limits
- Inspecting vehicles for roadworthiness
- Inspecting driver and vehicle licensing conditions
- Checking heavy vehicle drivers’ work diaries.
The HVNL authorises transport inspectors and police officers to investigate along the transport chain to ensure that incidents do not occur.
When inspectors can enter your premises
The HVNL authorises transport inspectors to enter relevant premises for the purposes of monitoring activity or investigating an activity that may be in breach of a party’s CoR obligations.
An authorised officer may, for investigative purposes, enter a place if one or more of the following conditions have been satisfied:
- An occupier of the place consents to the entry and has been made aware:
- of the purpose of the authorised officer’s entry;
- that the occupier is not required to consent;
- that the consent to entry may be given subject to conditions and may be withdrawn at any time;
- of any other powers intended to be exercised to achieve the purpose of the entry;
- It is a public place and the entry is made when it is open to the public.
- The entry is authorised under a warrant.
- It is a relevant place (meaning a place of business that performs a role within the supply chain), and it is:
- open for carrying on a business;
- otherwise open for entry;
- required to be open for inspection under this law; or
- the entry is authorised under s 498 or 499 of the HVNL.
3 circumstances when officers may enter without consent
Officers and inspectors may enter your premises without the usual requirements of consent under the following circumstances:
- If they reasonably believe that a party within the supply chain has committed an offence against this law.
- If they believe a party may be concealing or destroying evidence.
- There has been an incident involving death, injury or damage.
What officers can do upon entry
Under the provisions, if an authorised officer enters a relevant place for monitoring or investigative purposes, the officer may do any of the following (each is a general power):
- Inspect any part of the place or a vehicle at the place.
- Inspect a relevant document at the place.
- Copy, or take an extract from, a relevant document at the place.
- Look for, and inspect, a relevant device at the place and take an extract if relevant.
- Take to, into or onto the place and use any persons, equipment, materials, vehicles or other things the officer reasonably requires for exercising the officer’s powers under the legislation.
These powers are understandably wide and provide inspectors with broad enough powers to ensure compliance within the chain.
Parties that are subject to an inspection may also be required to assist inspectors in providing information that will help facilitate the monitoring and investigation process.
Keep up to date with your responsibilities under CoR
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Full of CoR-specific information you won’t find elsewhere, it can help you ensure you are meeting you CoR obligations.