Facing up to COR
Understanding your responsibilities as a business owner could help in avoiding $ 3 million in fines or even jail time. Warren Clark writes
DO YOU understand how the new chain of responsibility (COR) laws will impact you as a trucking business owner?
With changes being introduced in 2018, all parties in the chain of responsibility will be responsible for proactively managing the risks associated with their transport activities. It will become extremely important that parties in the chain of responsibility identify and manage risks rather than reacting when there is a possible breach of law.
The changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law involve a new chapter directed at chain of responsibility parties and the principle of shared responsibility. They include a primary duty on chain of responsibility parties to proactively ensure the safety of transport activities, thereby replacing a number of specific offences that automatically impose liability on a party when breaches are detected.
The new provisions also include a ‘due diligence’ obligation on executive officers of entities with a primary duty, and prohibit requests and contracts that would cause a driver or chain of responsibility party to breach fatigue requirements or speed limits.
An ‘executive’ of a business must exercise due diligence to ensure the business complies with the primary duty.
In order to meet the due diligence obligation, executives must take reasonable steps to keep up to date with knowledge about safe practices, ensure that the business has resources available and processes in place to manage risk, respond to incidents, and to verify that these resources and processes are provided and used.
Failing to comply with primary duties has the potential to deliver high penalties including company fines of $3 million and individual fines of $300,000.
To ensure all parties in the chain of responsibility can comply, NatRoad has been actively involved in the changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to ensure we can bring knowledge and tools to business owners.
NatRoad has started hosting a series of free regional trucking summits bringing the experts from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to discuss how these changes will be introduced and what the industry will need to do.
From understanding your contractual arrangements, and proactive risk management, to understanding your potential liabilities under the new laws, the regional trucking summits are a great platform to hear first hand what the changes mean for your business, and what you need to do to be prepared.
We are running a ‘Hot Topics’ page on our website which provides details of the chain of responsibility requirements.
To register for a free regional trucking summit, visit www. natroadsummit.com and pick the location closest to you.
For those of you who can’t make it to one of our summits, there will be a series of podcasts made available on the NatRoad website at www.natroad.com.au.
“FAILING TO COMPLY WITH PRIMARY DUTIES HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DELIVER HIGH PENALTIES”