New laws will be implemented in October 2018 as part of an update to the Australian Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). The changes increase the emphasis on organisational responsibility for the health and safety of both staff and the public.
One of the key updates is strengthening of Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations, a concept that has been a focus within Australia and New Zealand for some time. Any party in the chain who has influence over the transport activity is responsible for safety on the road. This ultimately places legal obligations across the organisation to ensure health and safety compliance.
The ongoing drive is to reduce workplace risk, and recognise this responsibility extends to parties on and off the road. Many organisations are already working to reduce workplace risk by ensuring they meet a Duty of Care - a similar legal concept to the CoR.
Complying with these new CoR laws is also important from a financial perspective: organisations are potentially liable for fines, penalties and possible imprisonment for breaches.
Complying with new CoR laws
As daunting as the laws may seem, there are some simple steps that can help organisations comply with these laws.
NOTE: this article shouldn't be considered legal advice
Taking all reasonable steps
Many organisations are already on the right path to improving their CoR compliance. The important thing is for them to consider all reasonable avenues of improvement and, where relevant, act to minimise the organisation's risk and management.
Through improved compliance, organisations are better positioned to provide a safe environment for their staff and the public; not only meeting their legislative obligations but also being a good employer and corporate citizen.
Visibility of fleet actions is greatly improved by improved tracking of maintenance, faults, driving, loading and hours, which enables organisations to delve into these data points and further improve their efficiencies.
Smartrak has the tools that can help organisations improve CoR compliance and reduce their workplace risk. Find out more about how you can improve your compliance today.