What is Chain of Responsibility?

The trucking industry chain of responsibility.

Chain of Responsibility (CoR) was enacted in Australia to place obligations on not only the truck driver, but also on all other parties involved in the road transport supply chain. In Western Australia, the chain of responsibility legislation is contained in the Road Traffic (Administration) Act 2008 and the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012. However, as of 2018, Australia Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) now requires all organisations that use heavy vehicles to enforce Chain of Responsibility, regardless of whether you’re in the transport or supply chain industry.

The Purpose of Chain of Chain of Responsibility

The purpose of introducing Chain of Responsibility is to improve road and industry safety, reduce infrastructure damage, improve efficiency and ensure the business complies with ensuring compliance across the industry.

Parties Involved in Chain of Responsibility

According to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. If you perform any of the 10 functions listed below, you are likely considered part of the responsibility chain.

Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to have the job title, if you perform any of these duties, you may be part of the responsibility chain.

  • Employer
  • Contractor
  • Operator
  • Scheduler
  • Consignor
  • Consignee
  • Packer
  • Loading Manager
  • Loader
  • Unloader

Chain of Responsibility Obligations

Under Chain of Responsibility, the primary duty is the obligation to ensure the safety of your transport activities. To ensure you are complying, it’s important that you and your team identify the risks and take reasonable steps to minimise potential harm associated with these risks. It’s also always important to think over other control variables.

Examples include:

  • Ensuring drivers complete a work diary to meet truck driver fatigue management requirements.
  • Ensuring trucks are carrying secure loads and that truck tarps are properly restrained.
  • Adhering to all heavy vehicle and truck weight limits.
  • Carrying out routine vehicle services and maintenance requirements to maintain high vehicle standards.
  • Implementing safety management systems and risk management plans.
  • Maintaining document or record actions.
  • Review processes to ensure they are compliant with the law.

Executive Due Diligence Duty

Executive due diligence duty refers to the executive officers, company directors, or management team in the business. If you are an executive of a business, there are added due diligence responsibilities you should be aware of.

Executive due diligence is the process of assessing and verifying that an organisation or company is complying with its primary duty. This includes ensuring that the company is following all applicable laws, regulations, and best practices. It also involves verifying that the company has adequate financial resources to continue operating and meeting its obligations.

Effective management is crucial in producing the best safety and efficiency outcomes.

Why Chain of Responsibility is Important

The Chain of Responsibility is an important principle in law because it holds all members of an organisation accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. If one person or department fails to uphold their responsibilities, it can have serious consequences for the entire team. This is particularly relevant in cases of corporate misconduct, where big fines and legal implications can be the result of a single individual’s actions.

By implementing Chain of Responsibility, businesses can help ensure that everyone within the company is aware of their responsibilities and held accountable for their actions. By ensuring that all employees within a company are aware of their responsibility to report any potential safety issues, Chain of Responsibility helps to create a culture of safety in which no one is afraid to speak up about potential hazards. It also strives to improve road safety and improve business efficiency and compliance.

Improve Transport Chain Safety In Your Organisation

As you can see, breaches in safety legislation can have serious impacts on the entire heavy vehicle transport chain. So even if the implication was the driver not adhering to the speed limit, other factors may be taken into consideration such as, was the driver was not given enough time to complete the job? Or were fatigue management requirements breached?. In cases of unsecured loads was this a result of poor weight distribution in the loading phase or dangerous driver behaviour?

Chain of responsibility aims to investigate every possible scenario at every level of the organisation to manage the safety of all transport activities.

At Bee Jays Canvas Co, we’ve been a trusted truck tarp and load restraint supplier for over 40 years. Unsecured loads can be a serious supply chain breach, therefore it’s important to always ensure you have only the best and well-maintained equipment available. Chat to the team at Bee Jays Canvas Co to find out more about how we can best assist your trucking needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for Chain of Responsibility breaches?

As a breach is a breach of the law, the actions of each person in the transport supply chain will be considered before a penalty is issued. Under Heavy Vehicle National Law, there are three types of penalties. However, you also may need to consider the local laws of the state the breach occurred in.

Infringeable offences
An infringement notice could be issued which outlines the details of the breach and the penalty.

Court imposed penalties
More serious offences can not be issued an infringement notice and must be settled in court.

Demerit points
Some offences may result in demerit points issued, depending on the local road traffic laws, in which the offence took place.

Can multiple people be involved in the Chain of Responsibility?

Yes, multiple people can be involved in the Chain of Responsibility. That being said, each person’s involvement will likely be different depending on their position within the supply chain. It’s important that everyone is aware of their individual and share obligations to ensure compliance is met.

Who does the Chain of Responsibility legislation apply to?

The Chain of Responsibility legislation applies to anyone involved with heavy vehicles, including the driver, the vehicle operator, and the owner of the vehicle. This legislation is important because it holds everyone responsible for ensuring that safety is maintained whilst on the road. By ensuring that everyone follows the guidelines set out in this legislation, we can reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that occur each year.

How does Chain of Responsibility work if you are an owner operator?

The Chain of Responsibility works by ensuring that everyone in the supply chain is responsible for upholding their part of the responsibility. This includes the loader, transporter, and retailer. If any one of these entities fails to uphold their responsibilities, it can have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the supply chain. If you are self employed, as an owner operator performing any of these duties, you would still be legally liable just like any other business.

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