Chain of Responsibility


Introduction and Purpose

What is Chain of Responsibility

The aim of CoR is to make sure everyone in the supply chain share equal responsibility for ensuring breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) do not occur. Under COR laws if you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you are part of the supply chain and therefore have a responsibility to ensure the HVNL is complied with.

The law recognises that multiple parties may be responsible for offences committed by the drivers and operators of heavy vehicles. A person may be a party in the supply chain in more than one way. For example, they may have duties as the employer, the operator and the consigner of goods.

Legal liability applies to all parties for their actions or inactions.

This is the ‘chain of responsibility’ (CoR).

The Chain of responsibility (CoR) laws (HVNL) encompass heavy vehicle:

• Mass, dimension and load restraint requirements;

• Speed, Fatigue Management; and

• Vehicle standards and maintenance

Scope:

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and regulations commenced in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria on 10 February 2014. In addition to passing the HVNL, states and territories agreed to four regulations made under the national law. Although Western Australia has not commenced the HVNL at this time, all Direct Couriers branches including Direct Couriers WA will comply with our company CoR Policy for all sized vehicles in our fleet.

Parties in the Chain of Responsibility are (but not limited to):

  • Corporations, partnerships, unincorporated associations or other bodies corporate
  • employers and company directors
  • exporters/importers
  • primary producers
  • drivers (including owner-driver)
  • prime contractors of drivers
  • the operator of a vehicle
  • operators of a transport company
  • schedulers of goods or passengers for transport in or on a vehicle, and the scheduler of its driver
  • consignors/consignees/receivers of the goods for transport
  • loaders/unloaders of goods
  • loading managers (the person who supervises loading/unloading, or manages the premises where this occurs)

This Procedure sets out the control mechanisms for eliminating or, where elimination is not practicable, mitigating the hazards associated with heavy vehicle operation, and compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Chain of Responsibility. The purpose of this Procedure is to outline the specific Chain of Responsibility (CoR) controls and to demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to meet these requirements.

Scope

The scope of this Procedure covers all National Camper Trailers controlled areas including office depots, worksites, all transport activities where heavy vehicles may operate.

Responsibilities

Currently, under the HVNL, all parties who have control or influence over the transport task are deemed responsible for complying with CoR obligations.

All parties must take all reasonable steps to prevent breaches of mass, dimension, loading, speed and fatigue laws. Make sure your actions, inactions or demands do not contribute to, or encourage, breaches of the HVNL.

A party in the chain of responsibility includes any person who undertakes defined roles outlined in the HVNL, who can influence or control transport-related activities. This section sets out responsibilities for several parties in the supply chain, but it is not an exhaustive list.

The CoR applies to:

Manager/Scheduler/Allocations responsibilities

  • Ensure work schedules do not require drivers to breach driving hours or speed limits.
  • Assess whether a driver is fit for duty -Alcohol & Drugs.
  • Record driver activities, work and rest times.
  • Ensure drivers do not work while impaired by fatigue or while in breach of their work or rest hours.
  • Maintain vehicles and ensure properly functioning speed limiters are fitted and calibrated as per system specifications.
  • Ensure vehicles are not loaded to exceed mass or dimension limits and are appropriately restrained.
  • If required Permits are held.
  • Route selections are established and communicated.
  • Consult regularly with other parties in the supply chain to identify risks and issues that may contribute to breaches of the HVNL.

Consignor/consignee responsibilities

  • Ensure loads do not exceed mass or dimension limits and are appropriately restrained.
  • Your delivery requirements must not require or encourage drivers to:
    • exceed the speed limits
    • drive while impaired by fatigue
    • exceed regulated driving hours
    • fail the minimum rest requirements.
  • Consult with other parties in the chain to identify risks and issues that may contribute to breaches of the HVNL.

Loading manager/person responsibilities

  • Ensure that loading a heavy vehicle will not cause or contribute to the driver driving while impaired by fatigue.
  • Work with other parties to make reasonable arrangements to manage loading/unloading times.
  • Ensure loads:
    • do not exceed vehicle mass or dimension limits
    • do not cause the vehicle to exceed mass limits
    • comply with the load restraint guide
    • Ensure any oversized loads have the required signage, flags, beacons in place.
    • are placed and secured in a way so they do not become unstable, move or fall off the vehicle
    • vehicle selection is appropriate for the task.
  • Provide reliable weight and height information to drivers prior to the journey.
  • Ensure load documentation is accurate.

Driver responsibilities

  • Comply with relevant fatigue management work and rest requirements.
  • Keep an accurate work diary and records required by law.
  • Respond to changes in circumstances (such as delays) and report these to your base.
  • Ensure your vehicle does not exceed mass or dimension limits.
  • Ensure your load is properly restrained as per the load restraint guide.
  • Check and report on all maintenance issues.
  • Obey all speed limits, wear seat belt at all times, only use exhaust brakes at appropriate times and abide by State road rules.
  • Subcontractors should also follow the lawful requirements of their prime contractors and be able to demonstrate compliance.
  • Ensure all oversized loads have the required signage, flags, beacons in place.
  • Identify and report hazards and risks associated with the transport task.
  • Complete a daily vehicle pre-start check and document.

CoR Management

Management of the CoR system is delegated to those managers and supervisors with a direct link or line authority for the management of heavy vehicles or loads.

Mass Management

Minimum controls:

  • Loading equipment on the project should be fitted with load cells/scales wherever possible.
  • All load cells/scales on heavy vehicle and loading equipment shall be maintained in a state of calibration. Calibration records must be maintained and entered into National Camper Trailers electronic document management system.
  • The loader shall load the vehicle in accordance with the load profile for the vehicle. The load profile shall include tare and GVM for the vehicle, as well as utilising load cells/scales if fitted to the heavy vehicle or loader.
  • The load must be restrained to withstand forces of at least:
  • 80% of its weight in the forward direction
  • 50% of its weight sideways and rearwards
  • 20% of its weight vertically

Over Size Over Mass Management

Any oversize loads which do not fall under the NHVR Load Carrying Vehicle Mass Exemption July 2016 must operate under the appropriate permit.

Speed Management

Minimum controls:

  • Heavy vehicle drivers shall be provided with the adequate time to legally complete their journey including rest breaks.
  • Trips that are over 100km radius from their base shall require work diaries to be used and time allocated must include anticipated rest breaks, and adherence to posted speed limits.
  • All regulated heavy vehicles with a GVM >12T which have functioning speed limiters fitted should be able to provide records that include evidence that speed limiters are installed and checked.

Fatigue Management

Minimum controls:

  • Drivers who occasionally or regularly complete trips over 100km radius from their base shall complete the National Heavy Vehicle Work Diary for all trips.
  • Where work days are likely to exceed 12 hours, drivers of fatigue managed heavy vehicles shall be required to take adequate rest breaks each 5 1/4 hours
  • Drivers who never complete journeys over 100km from their base shall show driving hours and rest breaks on their timesheet or in work issued diaries.
  • Drivers shall carry National Heavy Vehicle Work Diary records for 28 days after the record is made whenever the driver drives a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Work Diary sheets (where required) shall be provided to the works supervisor.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Work Diary sheets to verify that driving hours have not been exceeded will be reviewed.
  • Contractor heavy vehicle drivers shall be checked that the Work Diary is in use.

Load Restraint

Minimum controls:

  • The loads on all vehicles are to be restrained in accordance with the Load Restraint Guide (National Transport Commission).
  • Over centre chain dogs are no longer acceptable. Ratchet type dogs must be used.
  • Chains are suitable for the task and inspected for excessive wear or damage.
  • All tippers are to have tarpaulins. Loads shall be covered before tippers leave the work site. Any tippers observed to be leaving the site without the load covered by a tarpaulin shall be reported to the site supervisor.
  • Tailgates must be secured by either appropriately rated chains, or air lock mechanism.
  • Loaders of vehicles shall verify that the load has been secured.
  • Hydraulic Ramps are in safe operation and secured. All other ramps are in good condition, fit for the task purpose and secured.

Fitness for Work and Driving Hours

Work Managers/Supervisors must ensure drivers are fit to operate a heavy vehicle and prevent driving if it is believed the driver is not fit.

Drivers must indicate each day at the start of work that they are fit (not impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue) and legally be able to drive (driving hours to complete shift).

Induction and Training

  • Drivers – of heavy vehicles fitted with load cells shall receive an induction to the operation of this device.
  • Plant Operators – of plant items fitted with load cells shall receive an induction to the operation of this device.
  • Drivers and Loaders – required to restrain loads shall have an awareness of the Load Restraint Guide.
  • National Camper Trailers and contract drivers will be inducted into this it’s CoR Policy and Procedures.
  • Prior to commencement with National Camper Trailers Drivers of Heavy vehicles must provide evidence from the States Road Authority a print out of their driving history/demerit points. These will be updated annually and retained in the employees personnel file.
  • All vehicle drivers must provide all other documentation as per the Company Vehicle Policy.
  • All drivers will be assessed every 3 years on their capabilities by either a competent National Camper Trailers employee or third-party provider. Medicals will be undertaken yearly, and records retained on personnel file.
  • Any tipper driver is to undergo overhead power line training or it’s equivalent per State or Territory.
  • All drivers will be trained and sign into National Camper Trailers Safe Work Method Statement.

The site specific induction process includes checking drivers hold a current licence. Site specific induction shall include the relevant details of the project specific CoR controls and any related hazards and occurrences. Site Meetings are to include CoR performance including any non-compliance.

Communication and Resources

The Manager, Supervisor or delegate will be responsible for ensuring maintenance of current information and legislation relating to CoR and disseminating this to all relevant stakeholders.

Contractor Management

Contractors and suppliers utilising heavy vehicles working for, or supplying product and materials to National Camper Trailers workplaces shall be assessed to have adequate CoR management systems in place prior to engagement. At post engagement, an appropriate level of monitoring shall be undertaken to confirm system implementation.

Hazard and Occurrence Reporting

Where hazards or breaches to policy are identified such as a fatigued driver, overloaded vehicle, over dimension vehicle without appropriate warning devices, speeding vehicle and unrestrained or poorly restrained loads, the details shall be entered onto a National Camper Trailers incident report and any breach has been investigated and closed out.

Where the regulator issues a driver with a Heavy Vehicle Breach Report, Vehicle Defect Notice, Direction to Secure and Adjust or Reduce Load for transport activities associated with the project, the driver shall notify the supervisor who shall report to their manager.

Audits / Inspections

The relevant manager shall undertake an inspection of vehicles and CoR practices at least monthly.

The inspections and verifications shall address:

• Heavy vehicle condition

• Safety work practices

• Correct loading/unloading practices

• Load restraint/tarpaulins

• Work Diary and Running Sheet completion

• Completion of pre-start checks by vehicle operators.

• Ensure any breaches of non-conformance have been documented and closed out.

Summary

The safety of all road users hinges upon the proper maintenance of heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicle drivers/operators are required to ensure their vehicles/or fleet are free from defects, mechanically safe and in proper working order before a vehicle enters the road network.

Reference Materials

HVNL regulations – Refer to the following Direct Couriers documents

  • • Direct Couriers Heavy Vehicle (Fatigue Management Policy)
  • • Direct Couriers Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension, Load and Speed Policy)

Related Documents:

Heavy Vehicle National Law

Information in regard to Heavy Vehicle National Law and regulations can be found at:

https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance

Further information

Additional information is available from Road and Transport Authority website: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/heavyvehicles/downloads/compliance_and_enforcement_-_chain_of_responsibility.pdf

The National Transport Commission has developed Guidelines for Managing Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue. The guidelines are designed for drivers, employers, operators and schedulers, as well as Chain of Responsibility Statement users and customers of road transport. They provide guidance on managing heavy vehicle driver fatigue and on the responsibilities of each of party. They are available at the National Transport Commission website www.ntc.gov.au. or www.nhvr.gov.au/law-policies/heavy-vehicle-national-law-and-regulations

Heavy Vehicles Driver Handbook can be downloaded : http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/licence/heavy-vehicle-driver-handbook.pdf

Load Restraint Guide can be downloaded:

https://www.ntc.gov.au/heavy-vehicles/safety/load-restraint-guide/

Industry Codes of Practice

Compliance with the law can also be shown through application of Registered Industry Codes of Practice. Industries can access the national Guidelines for Developing and Registering Industry Codes of Practice at www.austroads.com.au

WA Heavy vehicle rules can be viewed:

https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/usingroads/heavyvehicles/pages/heavyvehicleshome.aspx

National Driver Standard Hours

Driver Work & Rest Chart Guide

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