Rolling Thunder to roll along the chain
An Operation Rolling Thunder-like blitz on terminal and DC offices foreseen
AN OPERATION Rolling Thunder-like blitz rolling into terminal and distribution centre offices will be almost certain after December 10, according to Damian Hegarty, a partner at law firm DFW (Australia).
That is the date which the ‘Chapter 1A Safety Duties’ of the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation
Amendment Act 2016 (HVNL) are due to automatically come into force, after being postponed in October 2017.
The amendments, which bring the HVNL into line with the workplace health and safety laws, include introducing a positive duty on all parties in the chain of responsibility to ensure safety of transport activities and imposes an obligation of due diligence on executives to ensure compliance with safety duties.
Hegarty says that where ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’ was focused on drivers of heavy vehicles, a similar operation could be expected for December, though this one would focus on ‘upstream duty holders’, such as those in the manufacturing, mining, retail and construction industries.
In addition to those considered to be ‘upstream duty holders’, all participants in the supply chain naturally include those in the transport industry who are: schedulers, loading managers, loaders and packers, and unloaders.
“In operations such as ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’, which adopt a multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional approach, it will be important to understand whether an officer has received authorisation to exercise the compulsive powers and are exercising them appropriately,” Hegarty says.
“This will provide an individual with protection against the Regulator using any incriminating information provided, against the individual.”
He advises supply chain participants to ensure they are able demonstrate what measures are in place to prevent HVNL breaches occurring, and whatever was “reasonably practicable” was done to prevent the contravention.
In the months before December, they should review their policies and procedures, to ensure they do not in any way incentivise another party to breach any HNVL provision.