It’s time to look into mass man­age­ment con­trols avail­able to road trans­port or­gan­i­sa­tions as part of their safety regimes

Australian Transport News - - Operations + Strategy - BRENTON CUN­NING­HAM WORDS

C hain of re­spon­si­bil­ity (COR) leg­isla­tive changes that will soon be com­ing into ef­fect mean that any ex­ist­ing obli­ga­tions will be re­for­mu­lated as pri­mary du­ties and that any busi­ness and in­di­vid­ual who is in­volved in the road trans­port sup­ply chain will now have a pri­mary duty of care to en­sure the safety of road trans­port op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tions out­side of their di­rect con­trol, within their sup­ply chain.

All par­ties will now be re­quired to un­der­take a broader and more tar­geted risk as­sess­ment bench­marked against new in­dus­try codes of prac­tice (ICPs) and de­velop and im­ple­ment tai­lored mit­i­gat­ing and re­me­dial mea­sures to dis­charge their pri­mary duty of care. Com­pli­ance with an ICP will re­quire sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence of safety regimes and tar­geted risk man­age­ment pro­ce­dures and pro­grams.

In prac­ti­cal terms, this pri­mary duty rep­re­sents an obli­ga­tion to elim­i­nate or min­imise po­ten­tial harm or loss (risk) by do­ing all that is rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble to en­sure safety.

Driv­ers, load­ers, pack­ers, weigh­bridge staff, con­signors, man­agers, and senior ex­ec­u­tives are re­spon­si­ble for over­load­ing heavy goods ve­hi­cles if they in­flu­ence the mass of the

ve­hi­cle or its load. There­fore, ev­ery­one in the sup­ply chain must en­sure that sys­tems are in place, such as weigh­ing sys­tems, to ad­dress heavy ve­hi­cle safety.

The NHVR’s re­cent up­date states: “The guide­lines will be ex­act­ing, ro­bust and de­mand­ing for reg­is­tra­tion, to as­sure the Reg­u­la­tor and all road-users that reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance and safety risks are be­ing ap­pro­pri­ately ad­dressed.”

Once the laws, are in place, breaches could re­sult in: • Fines of up to $300,000 for in­di­vid­u­als and

five year’s im­pris­on­ment for in­di­vid­u­als • Up to $3 mil­lion in fines for com­pa­nies with re­spon­si­bil­ity fall­ing on com­pany di­rec­tors. If you fail to meet your obli­ga­tions as an ex­ec­u­tive un­der COR, you will be li­able, and this can­not be del­e­gated to an­other em­ployee ei­ther.

Reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties around the coun­try are now im­ple­ment­ing a raft of mea­sures that will en­able them to en­force the new laws.

For ex­am­ple, VicRoads is in­stalling new weight sen­sor sys­tems in main roads to en­able COR crack­downs.

For years, au­thor­i­ties have recog­nised that try­ing to iden­tify an over­loaded ve­hi­cle was like look­ing for a nee­dle in a haystack.

With the num­ber of heavy goods ve­hi­cles on Aus­tralian roads, it was chal­leng­ing for on road com­pli­ance of­fi­cers to iden­tify which ve­hi­cle to ‘pull over’ to in­spect.

Now, reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties around the coun­try are rolling out ad­vanced weigh-in­mo­tion (WIM) sen­sors in main roads, com­bined with au­to­matic num­ber­plate recog­ni­tion sys­tems, that will en­able com­pli­ance of­fi­cers to de­tect far more over­loaded or in­cor­rectly loaded ve­hi­cles than ever be­fore.

The new sys­tems will en­sure that in­spec­tion pro­cesses are now well tar­geted, whereby an over­loaded heavy goods ve­hi­cle (HGV) pass­ing over the weight sen­sor will trig­ger an in­spec­tion of that ve­hi­cle by com­pli­ance of­fi­cers.

Now that it’s near­ing COR crunch time, the lev­els of en­quiry our com­pa­nies are re­ceiv­ing has soared.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions are re­view­ing their safety man­age­ment sys­tems and mass man­age­ment pro­cesses and are rush­ing to im­ple­ment con­trols to pre­vent breaches of COR pro­vi­sions be­fore time runs out and the new laws take ef­fect.

To­day, there is re­ally no rea­son why any owner op­er­a­tor or or­gan­i­sa­tion should leave the safe and le­gal load­ing of their ve­hi­cles to guess­work con­sid­er­ing the range of static and dy­namic ve­hi­cle weigh­ing sys­tems that are avail­able to in­dus­try, which in­clude weigh­bridges, axle weighers, weigh-in-mo­tion and on­board weigh­ing sys­tems.

These es­sen­tial aids to load and axle load distri­bu­tion mon­i­tor­ing pro­vide driv­ers the knowl­edge they need and se­cu­rity they de­serve and keeps op­er­a­tions com­pli­ant with NHVR COR re­quire­ments.

Fur­ther­more, there have been key pe­riph­eral tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments within our in­dus­try that can add ex­cit­ing new di­men­sions to any road trans­port op­er­a­tion be­yond that of meet­ing com­pli­ance re­quire­ments.

Mod­ern ve­hi­cle weigh­ing sys­tems do much more than pro­vide an iso­lated read­ing of weight data; rather, weight data can be in­te­grated in real time into op­er­a­tional pro­cesses and can be used to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency, pro­duc­tiv­ity, qual­ity and safety of any road trans­port op­er­a­tion.

In­no­va­tions such as data trans­fer, the abil­ity to track pro­duc­tiv­ity and per­for­mance on­line, au­to­matic num­ber plate recog­ni­tion (ANPR) sys­tems and re­mote dis­plays and tick­et­ing sys­tems have all changed the face of ve­hi­cle weigh­ing, with WIM tech­nol­ogy re­ally com­ing to the fore as a vi­able op­tion.

The fact is that or­gan­i­sa­tions can also lever­age these mea­sure­ment tech­nolo­gies at these con­trol points to not only re­alise their safety and com­pli­ance goals, but also to at­tain a whole host of com­mer­cial ben­e­fits that in­clude max­imis­ing pay­loads, stream­lin­ing op­er­a­tions and in­creas­ing through­puts, in­creas­ing or­der ac­cu­racy and re­cov­er­ing rev­enues due to you.

“This pri­mary duty rep­re­sents an obli­ga­tion to elim­i­nate or min­imise po­ten­tial harm or loss.”

Above: All par­ties in the sup­ply chain will now be re­quired to un­der­take a broader and more tar­geted risk as­sess­ment bench­marked against new in­dus­try codes of prac­tice Op­po­site: Di­verseCo CEO Brenton Cun­ning­ham

Brenton Cun­ning­ham is CEO of Di­verseCo group of com­pa­nies that in­cludesAc­cuWeigh, Ac­cuOn­board and Ul­tra­hawke and has more than 35 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence within the in­dus­trial weigh­ing and au­toma­tion in­dus­try.

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