Starting in mid-2018, updated chain of responsibility laws will be introduced to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), which regulates trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles that weigh 4.5 tonnes or more.
The HVNL commenced in 2014 and comprises the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Western Australia and the Northern Territory are yet to commit to the scheme.
A statement by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) noted the changes “make it clear the responsibility of duty holders to understand and assess their risks”.
“Under the new laws coming in mid-2018, the entire heavy vehicle supply chain will be required to take steps to deliver a safer road transport industry, with many companies looking to transition to, or improve existing safety management systems,” it read.
“These reforms are a significant step forward in recognising that everyone in the supply chain has a role to play in ensuring heavy vehicle safety.”
Chain of responsibility
It is understood all employers will be obligated to ensure – as far as is 'reasonably practical' – the safety of all who are obligated under the HVNL.
This includes drivers, operators, loaders, unloaders, loading managers, employers, company directors and executive officers.
Managers and companies will also be liable should a driver breach any road transport laws.
Some steps it advised included building systems that identified and controlled risks, adapting workplace procedures and practices, and training all staff and partners on their obligations.
The amendments are set to come into effect on 1 July, 2018.
One rule book for heavy vehicles