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MEDIA

On The Road  -  Issue 56 April, 2019

 

 

 

NHVR MOVES AGAINST CUSTOMER COR OVERREACTION

Date: 01.04.2019

 

Regulator and SARTA toll bell on big firm misconception burdens

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is seeking to head off unintended developments related to recent Chain of Responsibility (COR) reforms, an issue that is also of concern to state industry bodies.   

The NHVR has warned heavy vehicle operators to be aware of their responsibilities under the changed COR laws after several reports of unnecessary pressure to disclose additional information from larger customers beyond that required under the current provisions.

"For example, we have been contacted by a number of operators after they were asked to provide details of their drivers’, safety systems and work diaries by a customer claiming they were required to be provided under COR laws," NHVR safety standards and assurance executive director Geoff Casey.

"Operators are required to meet their safety duty requirements under the recent changes by ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of their transport activities.

"There are some great tools available for operators through the NHVR’s Safety Management System or the Registered Industry Code of Practice to give detailed guidance for operators.

"This level of information is not required by a customer or primary contractor under the law.

"The law makes it clear that it’s the transport operator’s responsibility to manage their own operations and activities so as to ensure safety under the primary and safety duty provisions."

Casey underlines that each party in the heavy vehicle supply chain was liable and responsible to the extent of their level of influence and control over the particular transport task. 

The NHVR has been made aware of a number of similar instances during 13 information sessions conducted for over 400 businesses during February and March.

South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) executive officer Steve Shearer says many members had expressed their dismay at the unintended and unnecessary administrative and cost burden that too many customers are imposing on road transport operators by over-reacting to the COR provisions.

"A customer who engages a road transport operator to move their freight does not generally have influence or control over the operator’s drivers, nor over the maintenance of the trucks," Shearer adds.

"Customers need to be aware that the more they seek to micro-manage road transport suppliers, the more they will increase their level of influence and control and in doing so they will significantly increase their own legal liability under the COR law and unnecessarily increase their own compliance costs.

"Customers are entitled to rely upon the fact that their transport operators have systems and procedures in place to manage their own safety responsibilities, provided the customers don’t prevent or inhibit the transport operators’ and drivers’ ability to be compliant.

"Corporate customers, including prime contractor transport operators, need to review their CoR practices and procedures to ensure that their business meets its CoR responsibilities while avoiding taking this beyond their business’ level of influence and control under the HVNL."

Casey says a customer or primary contractor may request additional information under a commercial arrangement that is subject to agreement but it is not a requirement under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

"Both parties need to work together to ensure that they each understand their respective responsibilities, including the limits of those responsibilities, and that they each manage those responsibilities effectively."

The customer is likely to have influence and control over:

  • the deadlines and schedules for freight to be moved and delivered
  • whether or not the customer’s operational practices in their depots adversely impact on drivers’ effective fatigue management, such as delays in loading or unloading that adversely influence the driver complying with work and rest requirements
  • whether or not the freight is loaded and restrained correctly, when the customer’s staff perform these tasks
  • whether or not the customer’s business practices including payment terms and other contractual matters, cause or encourage breaches of the law
  • where customers load and restrain the freight, they are responsible for that and if they seal the load they can’t require the driver to sign-off on it.

Correctly declaring the mass of the freight to the transport operator.

Under the primary and safety duty provisions, customers don’t need to require truck operators to provide:

  • service and maintenance records for trucks
  • drivers’ names and licence details
  • access to speed monitoring of the trucks
  • access to drivers’ Written Work Diaries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUS UPDATES

 

SE Freeway Heavier Penalties for trucks and buses

South Eastern Freeway – Heavier Penalties for trucks and buses

Businesses who fail to nominate the driver responsible for a camera-detected speeding offence, will also increase from $300 to $25,000.

 

From 1 May 2019, increased penalties will apply to drivers of all trucks and buses who are detected driving unsafely on the down-track of the South Eastern Freeway.

 

This applies to owners and operators of trucks with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of more than 4.5 tonnes and buses built to carry more than 12 adults including the driver.

 

An expiation fee of $1,036 plus six demerit points and six months loss of licence will apply to drivers of these vehicles for:

 

·        Exceeding the relevant speed limit by 10km/h or more; or

·        Failing to use a gear low enough to limit vehicle speed without the use of a primary brake.

 

Subsequent offences and drivers convicted by the Court will face even heavier penalties.

 

The body corporate levy, applicable to businesses who fail to nominate the driver responsible for a camera-detected speeding offence, will also increase from $300 to $25,000.

 

You are encouraged to distribute this information throughout your networks.

 

Note: Under the Australian Road Rules, a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of more than 4.5 tonnes is classified as a Truck regardless of the body type of the vehicle (excluding tractors, trams and buses). A motor vehicle built to carry more than 12 adults including the driver is classified as a Bus.

 

For more information –

 

Download the EzyReg app

Call Service SA on 13 10 84

Visit www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/SEFreeway 

 

 

Roadworks Notification

 

Port Adelaide Enfield: Francis Road and Davis Street, Wingfield

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield wish to advise that the intersection of Francis Road and Davis Street, Wingfield will be closed for all heavy vehicles from Monday 8 April to the end of May, weather permitting due to road reconstruction. During construction the south section of Davis Street will be used to access properties.

 

Heavy vehicles will be detoured via the intersection of Davis Street and Grand Junction Road with the following approved turn movements:

·         Right out from David Street onto Grand Junction Road

·         Right in from Grand Junction Road into Davis Street.

All other turning movements are prohibited.

 

For more information contact the City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Business Rules and Standards – Summary of Changes

  1. Introduction

Currently the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) provides three modules for participation, Maintenance Management, Mass Management and Fatigue Management. The scheme focus is for methods of alternate compliance with road transport laws or concessions to carry additional mass or use extended driving hours.

 

The governance of each module is controlled by the NHVAS Business Rules & Standards. The business rules are common to all modules however the standards to which a participant must comply varies according to the relevant standards of the module. Some commonality exists between the standards as there are specific reporting and administration tasks that each module must include.

 

Since first introduced the scheme has undergone change where additional modules such as fatigue have been added and at various stages the standards have undergone review, but this review is the first time that all modules have undergone simultaneous consideration with the driving force coming from the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) participating jurisdictions transport ministers request for a strengthening of the credibility of the scheme.

 

Consultation with jurisdictions and industry had taken place in late 2013 with a view to conduct a review of the standards in 2014. Circumstances prevented the review from taking place at that time however the feedback received at the time has been considered and incorporated into the changes included, where found to be appropriate.

 

The review of the Standards was part of the project deliverable from the NHVAS Review as endorsed by the Responsible Ministers. The NHVAS Review was included as part of the acceleration of the Roadworthiness Project due to the fatal Mona Vale heavy vehicle incident.

 

The review identified inconsistency between the standards where similar tasks are carried out. In some instances, insufficient detail was included in the standards for a participant to be clear on what they had to comply with as well as acceptable methods for compliance.

 

It was also identified that the two fatigue modules contained standards that are similar to both. All of the additional standards within AFM were all able to be mapped to the existing BFM standards.

It was seen that operators in both AFM & BFM were required to comply with the same standards however they were managing a different level of driving hours.

 

With this situation the modules were able to be united to form the Fatigue module with the option of using BFM prescribed hours or AFM approved hours. It is on entry into the fatigue module that the option is chosen, and the appropriate application criteria is required to be met. If successful approval is granted to use either AFM or BFM hours.

 

This document is constructed using the addition or removal with explanation approach. Red text signifies change, with a descriptor of the amended section and explanatory note written in red text for any standard that has been changed.

 

Where an amendment descriptor is not listed the standard can be taken to be unchanged from the previous version.

 

2.Executive Overview

Business Rules Major Changes

  • AFM Business Rules harmonised into existing business rules no longer stand alone
  • All references to FERG removed replaced with advice from jurisdictions and 3rd parties
  • All FERG requirements removed replaced with ability for NHVR to seek external specialist advice
  • Audit Completion Notification process removed
  • Requirements for re-entry after cancellation added
  • Inclusion of crash/incident reporting for operators – Notifiable Occurrences
  • Owner of a sub-contractor vehicle has the right to remove the vehicle from an accreditation
  • Included vehicles must hold current registration
  • Timeframes set for reapplying after being refused – 6 months
  • Fit and Proper person requirements added including assessment criteria
  • Greater clarification on criteria for extending an accreditation to 3 years
  • Operators must provide the auditor prior to an audit – drivers list, compliance history and previous audit report

NHVAS Standards Major Changes

 

Maintenance Management

STD 1

  • Strengthened to include a daily check of tow couplings and drawbars for security & integrity
  • The vehicle is no longer certified as “roadworthy” after a daily check but rather “safe” to the limits of the inspection.

STD 4

  • All vehicles being nominated will require current vehicle inspection by a road transport authority or their delegate no more than 12 months old.
  • All nominated vehicles must undergo an annual mechanical inspection that is at least equal to the inspection conducted by a road authority by a suitably qualified person.
  • The module is no longer recognised as a suitable program for fuel tax rebate purposes all references and requirements for fuel tax rebate removed.

STD 5

  • For a more stringent approach to the control of operator’s handling vehicle defects operators must now keep a register of infringement and defect notices received which includes;
  • the registration & VIN number of the vehicle to which the notice was issued
  • the date, time & place the notice was issued
  • the nature of the contravention (description of the defect)
  • the date the defect must be repaired by
  • who conducted the repairs
  • the date the repair was completed
  • the authorised entity that cleared the notice.

STD 7

  • Reworded to provide a clear distinction between the two internal improvement reporting processes of;
  • conducting an annual internal review, and
  • completing the quarterly compliance statement

STD 8

  • Criteria for this standard have been introduced to provide clear instruction on what procedures and records are to be kept for relevant training.

Mass Management

STD 2

  • Reworded to clarify that trailers although not individually nominated are considered as a nominated vehicle when used in combination with a nominated hauling unit.
  • A documented process for how the register of nominated vehicles is to be kept now required

STD 4

  • Reworded to align with the policy decision introduced that only requires records for trips that involve masses above GML.
  • For a more stringent approach to the control of operator’s handling defect notices and penalty infringements for overloading operators must now keep a register of defect notices and infringements received which includes;
  • the registration & VIN number of the vehicle to which the notice was issued
  • the date, time & place the notice was issued
  • the nature of the contravention (description of the notice and or defect )
  • if a notice in relation to vehicle standards,
  • the date the defect must be repaired by
  • who conducted the repairs
  • the date the repair was completed
  • the authorised entity that cleared the notice.

 

STD 5

  • The minimum frequency of conducting verification is now set to twice a year. Previously no minimum frequency was set.
  • A notation has been added to the standard that provides instruction that if the policies and procedures adopted for standard 3 can demonstrate that vehicle loading is controlled to ensure the vehicle is loaded within allowable gross & axle limits for every load and every trip then the criteria for this standard can be considered as having been met.
  • Where the loading method used to meet standard 3 is such that it is able to provide known masses for every trip then this will be taken to meet the requirements for verification (standard 5) and no additional verification will be required.

STD 6

  • Reworded to provide a clear distinction between the two internal reporting processes of;
  • conducting an annual internal review, and
  • completing the quarterly compliance statement

STD 7

  • Criteria for this standard have been introduced to provide clear instruction on what procedures and records are to be kept for relevant training.

STD 8

  • Criteria reworded so that the statement of compliance for vehicles not owned by the accredited operator are no longer required to be carried in the vehicle.

Fatigue Management

STD 1

  • Previous AFM & BFM standards unified

STD 2

  • Renamed to reflect the unification of BFM standard 2 and AFM standards 2 &7
  • Criteria reworded to allow the NHVR Board to decide if a document is equal to the Aust Roads medical certificate rather than the Australian Transport Council which no longer exists.

STD 3

  • Previous AFM & BFM standards unified

STD 4

  • Renamed to reflect the unification of BFM standard 4 and AFM standards 4 &9

STD 5

  • Previous AFM & BFM standards unified
  • New criteria included for consistency with other NHVAS modules, as previous BFM & AFM standards did not have the requirement to produce a quarterly compliance statement included in the standards.

STD 6

  • Previous AFM & BFM standards unified
  • The minimum amount of driver records to be checked now established.

STD 7

  • New Standard, the requirements to ensure workplace conditions are maintained or established to assist with preventing fatigue now included. Facilities and equipment provided to drivers must meet with work place safety legislation and minimum vehicle design rules, specifically for sleeper cabs.

To learn more about the proposed changes to the Business Rules and Standards, click here

 

 

Your rights if authorised officers enter your business premises

 

Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and the police have significant powers to enter premises and seize materials.

 

The enforcement powers authorised officers have:

 

Authorised officers are generally employees of state and territory regulators such as the RMS. Police officers are also given powers under the HVNL in addition to their regular powers. Both are authorised under the HVNL to carry out monitoring and investigations involving inspection and seizure of documents and materials that may be evidence of breaches of the HVNL.

An authorised officer may only enter a place without the occupier’s consent if they have a warrant, unless the place is open for carrying on a business or required to be open for inspection under the HVNL. An authorised officer must identify themselves and tell the occupier the reason for entry.

After lawfully entering a place, an authorised officer has a number of powers of investigation, including to search, inspect, examine and film documents or materials, as well as take an item or a physical or electronic copy of a document.

 

Information you will be asked for in a raid:

 

You should keep records of your compliance with the HVNL for five years. The information that you may be required to produce for the regulator, or a court will vary depending on the alleged breach. Generally, you are likely to be requested to produce applicable documents including, but not limited to:

  • Chain of Responsibility (CoR) policies and procedures;
  • work/rest diaries;
  • vehicle maintenance records;
  • training and induction records; and
  • transport provider contracts.

 

What you should do if your premises are raided:

 

If your company is raided, you must ensure that the scope of the investigation is clearly set out in the search warrant and that only persons and materials relevant within the limits of the investigation are interrogated or seized.

If the RMS or the police raid your premises for HVNL-related information, you must provide all reasonable assistance to the officials within the following parameters:

  1. Ask to see the search warrant and the official’s identity card and make copies of these documents. If the officer fails to produce identification, you may refuse entry until they do so.
  2. Co-operate with the officers but do not volunteer information. You must not obstruct the officers from entering the premises or during the search, but you may assign a person to shadow the officers at all times.
  3. Do not make any statements or answer any questions without a lawyer or senior manager present. You may wish to ask the officers to wait in a meeting room with no records in it until a senior manager or lawyer arrives. Request that you be given time to brief the business, the shadowers, relevant employees and the IT managers. However, if the officers insist on initiating the inspection, you must comply.
  4. Tell the officers that they may not interview employees without the presence of the senior manager or lawyer, and that they must be shadowed by a lawyer or a senior manager at all times.
  5. Establish what the officers want to see – which employees; offices, cabinets and records; whose laptops; which IT accounts; which IT servers; and how long the inspection will last?
  6. Do not destroy, throw away or hide any documents, material, emails, computer files, etc.
  7. Do not tell anybody about the raid who is not required for the investigation. Brief the relevant employees and make sure that they are aware that they need to be available throughout the entire day. They cannot alert third parties or inform anyone outside the business nor destroy/hide documents including emails or access to email accounts; and they should not answer any questions without the presence of the senior manager or lawyer.
  8. Keep a written or audio record of all questions and answers. Make sure you have a copy of all documents copied by officers.

 

Don’t forget about legal professional privilege:

 

Officers conducting a raid are not entitled to compel a person to produce a document that would disclose information that is subject to legal professional privilege.

Privileged documents include written communication between a company and an independent external or internal lawyer where the communication was made for the dominant purpose of:

  • obtaining legal advice; or
  • assisting in, or for use in, actual or contemplated legal proceedings.

 

If legal privilege over a document is claimed, the document should be placed in a sealed envelope under the supervision of an officer.

SWMS vs  SOP

There is some confusion since the inception of the “Safety Management Systems” concept by the NHVR and COR.  While there is varying opinion about what constitutes a SWMS versus a SOP the result should ultimately be the same.

 

A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) can be for a specific Job or Task; As can a Safe Operating Procedure (SOP)

 

If the Task is repetitive them it does not need to be republished each time that task is undertaken;

so long as the participants have been trained and understand the responsibilities around it!

 

If the Task ultimately changes, then it is to be reviewed and discussed at a “Tool box” (Call it what you like) meeting and updated, including training in the new Task or activity.

 

A safe operating procedure(SOP) is a written document that provides step-by-step instructions on how to safely perform a task or activity which involves some risk to health an safety.  A Safe operating procedure is sometimes referred to as a safe work procedure or safe work method statement.

 

 

 

From NHVR FYI

The NHVR is introducing updated business rules and standards for the NHVAS schemes, this is to compliment the updated information since the Introduction of the COR becoming a part of the HVNL.

There will be information sessions and the closing date for submissions is 31st March 2019.

A number of sections will affect some of our customers and there will be information and changes which affects ALL customers and operators, these are identified in red in the business rules accessible on the regulator’s website.

https://www.nhvr.gov.au/…/201812-0959-nhvas-business-rules-…

Some specific notations: albeit NOT extensive, but important are:
Roadworthy to be removed from some sections and replaced in some sections with Safe or Safety Related.
Trailers are to be nominated for the management of records for the Mass scheme.
Verification timelines are to be identified
TRAINING has been identified as a Mandatory component of all schemes.

There are a lot more additions and omissions to be reviewed, but this gives you an idea of the reviews we will need to make to your manuals and procedures.

If you have any questions, concerns or require more information, please do not hesitate to give me a call

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Issued by Managing Director of Global Accreditation Services, Greg Harmes

Monday 5 November 2018

 

Release begins

 

Whilst from 1 October, all of those involved in the transport industry as operators or users have now to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (“HVNL”), this is nothing more than a formalisation of the laws and regulations that previously applied to road transport industry participants. 

Greg Harmes, Director of Global Accreditation Services commented:

“The new law creates no new obligation on transport companies and drivers.  The legal requirement to provide for the safety of drivers, and the general public has been in existence for years.  All this new law does is provide greater clarity around the systems one needs to have in place, and the chain of responsibility that all users of heavy transport vehicles have.”

“Having been a transport industry participant for many years I welcome the clear obligation that is now imposed on all involved with the transport industry, whether they be transport operators/managers, consignors/consignees or those responsible for packing and/or loading goods for transport, to have systems in place so that they can substantiate that they  adhere to the heavy vehicle transport regulations.  The operation of the HVNL imposes no new obligations but makes it even more clear what responsibilities all participants have”.

“As a compliance auditor for the Transport Industry, I absolutely support these measures to make people aware of their responsibility and accountability.   For some years we have been working with our clients and the industry more broadly to develop methods and systems to ensure that

 

  • Vehicle loads are within mass and dimension limits
  • Loads are adequately restrained and secured
  • Drivers do not, and are not forced or encouraged to drive whilst fatigued
  • Vehicles are well maintained
  • Industry participants are well trained to understand the various responsibilities and obligations in ensuring and providing evidence of compliance to these requirements.”

Whilst being a strong supporter of the HVNL, Mr Harmes has expressed his concern over what he believes is opportunistic behaviours of some industry participants.

 

“I have seen documents where some operators are increasing prices and/or imposing levies and using the HVNL as justification for so doing.   That is just plain wrong.  The HVNL imposes no new obligation on transport companies other than to be able to substantiate that they have the appropriate systems in place.  They have always had a responsibility to their drivers and other road users to ensure their operations are conducted safely.  People wanting to organise freight for their business should push back strongly against this price gauging by greedy operators”, said Mr Harmes.

 

Mr Harmes also emphasises the need for “good relevant training and commitment to systems”  

Mr Harmes warned that transport industry operators being approached by people marketing ipad or other on-line administrative systems should not be tricked into thinking that the purchase of these I.T. based systems will provide all that is needed to satisfy the legal liability of transport industry operators.   Mr Harmes stated, “These devices and systems are merely tools that can make the recording of what you are doing to comply easier.”

 

“That is if they work!” he emphasised.

 

“These tools do not take the place of good management risk review and training, nor integrity when committing to accepting the chain of responsibility obligations fully.  We need to educate people more and those involved in the industry need to focus upon the safety of drivers, and not to take short cuts when managing their businesses.  They just have to have very good systems in place,” concluded Mr Harmes.

 

End of Release

Further clarification and comment can be obtained by contacting Greg Harmes (Global Accreditation Services) (Ph. 0417 585 223).

 

 

 

BLOG

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Leading transport lawyers Nathan Cecil and Geoff Farnsworth identify the three biggest missteps businesses make in dealing with their COR obligations.

 

Changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) are due to ‘go live’ on October 1, 2018.

 

For anyone who has been deaf to the ‘drum-beat’ of the last two years (or so), now is very much the time to not only start thinking about upgrading your compliance, but to actually start doing it. Speaking objectively, there is really no excuse. The last two years have seen a quickening of awareness and activity around the impending changes.

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has rolled out a significant awareness-raising campaign, across various sectors of the supply chain. It has made considerable resources available through its website.

 

The NHVR’s caravan has been followed by various industry associations and consultants, all in an effort to raise awareness and offer assistance around understanding obligations and tailoring a compliance program to meet those obligations.

 

Nathan Cecil spoke at the Road Freight New South Wales Conference last week. Check out what he said here

 

A joint effort of the Australian Logistics Council and Australian Trucking Association has produced a master code of practice to guide parties in devising compliance systems to meet the new laws. At this stage, it is almost impossible to know how successful those efforts have been.

Our experience tells us that several large Australian businesses have devoted considerable time and expense in upgrading their compliance in preparation for the new laws going live.

 

Road-users, including heavy vehicle drivers, should be gratified to know that our roads are that much safer as a result of these initiatives.

 

We suspect the ‘80/20 rule’ will apply – with around 20 per cent of relevant businesses being aware of and understanding the changes in the law and implementing properly targeted and responsive steps to prepare and 80 per cent of businesses misunderstanding or underestimating their enhanced chain of responsibility (COR) obligations to a greater or lesser extent.

 

That is, we very rarely come across businesses that are 100 per cent compliant. However, this split in itself is probably an improvement over the levels of compliance with ‘old COR’.

 

Challenged Sectors 

 

If we were to single out two ‘challenged’ sectors, we would identify:

  • Containerised imports

Import containers must be packed and their contents secured to Australian standards (refer to Load Restraint Guide 2018), not the standard at the place of export. The volume and nature of container trades means it’s impossible to routinely open and inspect inside containers when they arrive at the wharf and before they take to the roads. Truck drivers and operators are often at the "front-line" when dealing with the consequences of poorly packed and secured containers – but it is the  importer’s job under the COR to tell its suppliers how containers must be packed and to check that this instruction is being followed.

  • Rural industries

A potentially lethal combination of factors (including long distances, dispersed demographic and, in some instances, a ‘frontier’ attitude) continue to challenge compliance for rural industries. That does not mean that considerable efforts are not being made to get the message across and encourage compliance in major cities. Hopefully those efforts will bear fruit.

 

Biggest Missteps

 

If we were to single out the three biggest missteps by business in dealing with their COR obligations, we would identify:

  • COR applies to all transport activities

Many businesses still only focus on COR for outbound transport activities relating to primary goods i.e. when they send out the main goods with which the business deals.

 

However, the COR laws apply to all heavy vehicle transport activities – in or out. So, in addition to addressing COR compliance for any outbound movement, businesses need to consider COR implications for inbound goods, materials and equipment supplies. Further, COR laws apply to the heavy vehicle movement of all goods, not just the main outputs of the business.

 

So, COR laws might also apply to the inbound delivery of fertiliser, feed, fill or raw materials and the outbound removal of agricultural waste, rubbish or soil/spoil.

  • You need to take all steps to address safety, not just some

Doing something in relation to COR is better than doing nothing. However, the compliance obligation is for businesses to take all reasonably practicable steps to address safety, not just some or even most.

 

So, businesses need to think about their COR risks and compliance measures from a number of angles and plug any holes.

 

 

Tuesday 11 September 2019, Greg Harmes

Did You Know?” As part of the CoR Regime coming into effect in less than 3 weeks – you need to ensure your subcontractor agreements are watertight, with regards to how safety risks are managed. Why? Because failing to do so can leave you vulnerable; and that can turn out to be very expensive… Further to ensuring your contracts cover issues such as licenses, accreditation, rights to drug & alcohol testing and auditing driving records, you must ensure you do not contain any incentive (obvious or otherwise!) to breach the Heavy Vehicle National Law. We’d recommend having your agreements reviewed by a legal representative just to be sure.

Done and dusted: Parliament passes final phase of the 'chain of responsibility' reforms

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, Legal Update 06/09/18

 

The Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2018 was passed yesterday afternoon. The amendments will significantly enlarge the investigative and enforcement powers of authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside the new ‘primary duty’ and executive ‘due diligence’ obligation.

The new ‘chain of responsibility’ regime consists of three separate pieces of amending legislation.

PHASE 1 – INTRODUCING THE NEW REGIME

In December 2016, Parliament passed amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to introduce a new regime that imposes a ‘primary duty’ on all businesses in the ‘chain of responsibility’ and a ‘due diligence’ obligation on all executive officers to ensure their businesses comply with the primary duty. The amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018.

PHASE 2 – EXTENDING THE EXECUTIVE ‘DUE DILIGENCE’ OBLIGATION’

In June 2018, Parliament passed further amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These further amendments extend the ‘due diligence’ obligation by requiring executive officers of businesses in the chain of responsibility to exercise due diligence to ensure their businesses comply with all major safety related duties in the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These amendments are also set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside Phase 1.

PHASE 3 – ENLARGING INVESTIGATIVE AND ENFORCEMENT POWERS

Yesterday, Parliament passed amendments to enlarge the investigative and enforcement powers of authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. Some of the more significant amendments are set out here. These amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside Phases 1 and 2.

COUNTDOWN TO 1 OCTOBER 2018

There are now less than four weeks remaining until the new ‘chain of responsibility’ regime comes into effect. We are running a one hour webinar on 25 September to help road transport operators and other parties in the supply chain with their last minute preparations. The webinar is designed to assist those who need a general overview of their new obligations or a final ‘refresher’ before 1 October. All the details are here.

If you have any questions in relation to the new regime or would like assistance in complying with your new obligations, please contact Gillian Bristow on +61 7 3231 2925 or Emily Ng on + 61 7 3231 2986.

A new link in the chain 

Tuesday 7 July 2018 

In October, changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will shift responsibility for safety to every party in the transport supply chain. For farmers and producers, you become part of this supply chain when you send or receive goods using a vehicle that carries more than 4.5 tonnes, or if you own heavy vehicles that transport your goods.  The new legislation aligns closely with workplace health and safety regulations to ensure no one is exposed to unnecessary risks, so identifying hazards is key. In short, it means making sure that everyone gets home safely.

 

Further information can be found in this weeks LBRCA Weekly News.  

 

Vic Roads Sharpens Heavy Vehicle Driver Focus 

ATN Industry News 31/07/2018

VicRoads will keep up the pressure on heavy vehicle drivers to ensure they continue to abide by the state’s road laws, after courts handed down one of its heaviest penalties in recent years.

 

Link: https://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/1807/vicroads-sharpens-heavy-vehicle-driver-focus?utm_source=atn_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=article1_image&utm_campaign=31-07-2018&utm_term=list_fullyloaded_newsletter 

 

Thursday 19 July 2018 

Greg Harmes, Director Global Accreditation Services 

Under both the current and new laws, executives can be held accountable if they are not properly managing business compliance. 

 

As part of discharging that duty, executives have to be aware of the CoR risks faced by their business and what the business is doing to manage those risks. But that is only two-thirds of the pieces in the puzzle. The third piece is that executives must know whether the measures implemented are effective in avoiding or mitigating CoR risks.

 

In order to complete the puzzle, executives need to understand the compliance performance of the business, which is where executive compliance reporting comes in.

 

Without such reporting, executives will not be meeting their obligations. Under the new laws, executives could be fined up to $300,000 and jailed for up to five years for failing to meet their obligations.

 

Please get in touch if you would like to have a chat about whether you are currently meeting your CoR obligations. 

 

NHVR On the Road - Issue 38  

Changes to regulations, fees and penalties 

A series of changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Law came into effect on 1 July.

 

  • A national mass increase for two-axle buses and twin steer tri-axle semitrailer combinations providing more flexibility for operators. For more information on changes to the mass limits of the semitrailer combinations and bus changes click here
  • Heavy vehicle operators using tag trailers will be required to operate under 1:1 towing mass ratio, similar to pig trailers and dog trailers. The 1:1 mass ratio does not allow a trailer to exceed the manufacturer’s mass limits or applicable prescribed axle mass limits. More information on the requirements for tag trailers can be found in VSG22 - Requirements for tag trailers at www.nhvr.gov.au/vsg.
  • All penalties will increase by CPI and access charges will increase from $72 to $73, also in line with CPI. An access fee applies to all Higher Mass Limit permit applications from 1 July.

More information on changes to penalties can be found at www.nhvr.gov.au/penalties 

 

Access to the full version of Issue 38 NHVR On the Road can be found here

 

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #10 (the last one) for transport and logistics operators

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, 22 June 2018

 As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the tenth and final tip in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP # 10 –  ACCIDENT/EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANNING

Your new primary duty to ‘ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities’ extends to the management of incidents and accidents. Even the best planning and safety system is not an iron-clad guarantee that your drivers and vehicles will not be involved in a major accident.

In the aftermath of a critical incident:

  • key personnel may not be available or contactable;
  • your driver or other members of the public may be injured or in physical danger;
  • the stress of the incident may make it difficult for you or your staff to make decisions quickly or appropriately;
  • you may need to deal with a variety of service providers, including emergency services, tow and salvage operators and investigators.

Having a critical incident response plan and checklist can assist your business achieve a rapid and effective emergency response and recovery. For example, your checklist for reporting a critical incident should allow information to be collected about:

  • the time, location and nature of the incident;
  • any injuries or risks of further injury;
  • the freight involved, including any placard, label and manifest details; and
  • the weather conditions and terrain.

Your plan should also deal with which regulatory bodies, internal and external stakeholders, insurers and tow and salvage operators need to be contacted and include contact details for those bodies.

We hope you have enjoyed this series of tips. If there are any transport specific topics you would like to see us discuss in future alerts, please don’t hesitate to contact Gillian Bristow at gillian.bristow@cgw.com.au.

 

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #9 for transport and logistics operators

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, 15 June 2018

 

 As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the ninth in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP #9 – COR COMPLIANCE AUDITS

CoR compliance is an active and ongoing process. It is not enough to simply publish CoR policies and procedures and assume that your employees and subcontractors will comply with those policies and procedures.

To discharge your primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities, you need to:

  • ensure that relevant staff and contractors are trained in your policies and procedures;
  • monitor compliance with your policies and procedures and take action in the event of any non conformances; and
  • review the effectiveness of your policies and procedures and modify your policies and procedures as required.

One way to do this is to regularly audit your own records and the records of your subcontractors. You should inspect documents to verify:

  • evidence of induction and training;
  • the currency of licences and registrations;
  • evidence of roadworthiness, servicing and maintenance of heavy vehicles used to provide transport services;
  • compliance with your policies and procedures; and
  • compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Any audits that you undertake should be documented and non-conformances should be acted upon.

Watch out for tip #10 next week – Accident/emergency response planning.

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #8 for transport and logistics operators

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, 08 June 2018

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the eighth in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP #8 – SUBCONTRACTORS AND SAFETY

Managing subcontractors is an important aspect of CoR compliance. As a transport operator arranging for another party to transport goods on your behalf, you are a ‘consignor’ under the HVNL.

Before you engage a subcontractor, you should collect evidence from the potential subcontractor to assess whether the subcontractor is complying with its CoR obligations and will continue to do so in the future. Once you have engaged a subcontractor, you should also regularly review the subcontractor’s compliance documentation.

If you don’t do your homework on your subcontractor, you are unlikely to discharge your primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities.

The kinds of documents you could consider in determining the suitability of a particular subcontractor include:

  • certificates of currency for relevant insurance policies;
  • accreditations (such as TruckSafe, NHVAS Mass Management, NHVAS Maintenance Management and NHVAS Basic/Advanced Fatigue Management);
  • licences and vehicle registrations;
  • permits and approvals (if necessary for the services being provided); and
  • CoR policies and procedures.

You should also ask your potential subcontractor questions about whether the subcontractor:

  • carries out drug and alcohol testing and medical examinations of drivers;
  • carries out licence/driving history checks and, if so, how frequently;
  • carries out inductions for all drivers and, if so, what those inductions cover;
  • requires drivers to complete vehicle pre-start checks and fitness for duty assessments;
  • has on-board monitoring systems fitted to its vehicles and if the data from these systems is regularly reviewed; and
  • has a history of heavy vehicle offences.

Watch out for tip #9 next week – CoR compliance audits.

 Denilquin Heavy Vehicle Forum 
Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #7 for transport and logistics operators 

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers 01 June 2018

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the seventh in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP # 7 – TECHNOLOGY AND TELEMATICS

Transport operators now have access to an enormous array of tools and technological solutions to allow them to monitor speed, vehicle performance and fitness to drive.

Technology now even permits on-board systems to electronically detect the level of a driver’s alertness using blink pattern and eye movements.

Telematics data can be used by parties in the chain of responsibility to assist in complying with the primary duty to ‘ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the party’s transport activities’. For example, GPS data can allow schedulers to be responsive to drivers’ remaining work and rest hours. Real-time information about speed also assists supervisors to manage on-road breaches of speed limits.

However, telematic systems do not provide a complete answer to CoR compliance and, indeed, CoR obligations can be met without using telematics. The data produced by telematics is only of assistance if it is monitored and used proactively to manage actual and anticipated breaches of CoR obligations.

If your heavy vehicles have on-board systems that detect breaches of speed and fatigue requirements, it is vital that you have procedures for:

(a) the monitoring of data collected; and

(b) the taking of immediate action by management if data indicates non-compliance or the risk of non-compliance with company policy or legislative requirements.

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running a CoR half day masterclass in Brisbane on 6 June 2018 – all the details are available here.

Watch out for tip #8 next week – Subcontractors and safety.

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #6 for transport and logistics operators 

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers - 25 May 2018

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the sixth of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP # 6 – HOW ‘ALIVE’ IS YOUR SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE SYSTEM?

The new provisions impose a ‘primary duty’ on parties in the chain of responsibility to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of their transport activities relating to heavy vehicles.

This duty creates an obligation on transport operators to proactively manage risk, not simply to react to incidents and accidents. It is not enough to prepare policies that document your commitment to compliance with chain of responsibility legislation and put them on the office shelf ready to be dusted off if and when you are asked to produce them.

An effective safety management system requires you to ensure that your risk management practices are actually working and that you monitor the effectiveness of any controls you have in place.

Some ways that transport operators can do this include:

  • encouraging your employees, contractors and others in the supply chain to suggest improvements to your business practices;
  • regularly consulting with others in the chain of responsibility to improve safety practices; and
  • having a documented process to investigate incidents and accidents and modifying your practices and procedures based on the findings of any investigation.

It is vital that if there is an incident or ‘near miss’ that you stop, look and reflect on what happened to see if there is anything that could have been done differently.

If you would like help understanding your obligations under the new CoR provisions, please contact Gillian Bristow (07 3231 2925) or Emily Ng (07 3231 2986).

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June or 13 June.

Watch out for tip #7 next week – Technology and telematics.

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #5 for transport and logistics operators 

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers - 18 May 2018 

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are now expected to commence later this year.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the fifth of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP #5 – COR AND SUBCONTRACTING AGREEMENTS

As part of the new CoR regime, you should ensure you have contracts with your subcontractors that document ‘who is responsible for what’. If your engagement of subcontractors is undocumented and undertaken without regard to how safety risks will be managed, you are unlikely to fulfil your primary duty to ‘ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities’.

Your subcontracting agreements should cover issues such as:

  • Whose responsibility is it to ensure your subcontractor’s drivers and other personnel are aware of their CoR obligations?
  • What licences and accreditations must your subcontractor and its drivers hold?
  • Do you have the right to conduct drug and alcohol testing of your subcontractor’s drivers?
  • Does your subcontractor need to notify you if the subcontractor or a driver receives a warning, fine, infringement notice, court appearance notice or summons in relation to the performance of the services?
  • What does the subcontractor need to do if it considers that any of your requests, directions or practices will or may result in the subcontractor or its drivers breaching the Heavy Vehicle National Law?
  • Do you have the right to audit and inspect the subcontractor’s books and records for CoR compliance?
  • Do you have the right to terminate the agreement if the subcontractor contravenes the Heavy Vehicle National Law?

You must also ensure that your subcontracting agreements do not contain any provisions that provide your subcontractor with an incentive to breach the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

If you would like help with preparing, reviewing or updating your subcontracting agreements, please contact Gillian Bristow (07 3231 2925) or Emily Ng (07 3231 2986).

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June or 13 June.

Watch out for tip #6 next week – How ‘alive’ is your safety and compliance system?

 

Countdown to CoR changes - Tip #4 for transport and logistic operators

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers - 10 May 2018

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are expected to commence later this year.

That means transport operators now have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the fourth of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

 

TIP # 4 – MANAGING YOUR COR COMPLIANCE PAPERWORK

With the advent of the CoR changes, many transport operators will receive requests from others in supply chain for evidence of compliance with legislative requirements. These may include requests for drug and alcohol testing results, driver licensing records and fatigue management data. Regulators are also able to require the production of business records that demonstrate compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

It is therefore important that you manage your business records so that you are in a position to quickly and efficiently produce relevant documents.

In addition, transport operators should be aware that there may be privacy issues associated with providing compliance paperwork to customers for audit and inspection purposes.

 

DO I NEED A PRIVACY POLICY?

All private sector organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million must comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and have both a privacy policy and privacy collection statement. The privacy policy must clearly outline the purposes for which personal information may be collected and the parties to whom that personal information may be disclosed.

 

DOES MY COMPLIANCE PAPERWORK CONTAIN PERSONAL OR SENSITIVE INFORMATION?

Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. However, personal information does not include employee records if the records are directly related to a current or former employment relationship. This means that records relating to employees are generally not covered by the Privacy Act, but records relating to prospective employees and your subcontractors and their employees are covered.

Sensitive information is a form of personal information that is given a higher level of privacy protection under the Act. For transport operators, drug and alcohol test results, medical screening tests and driving history checks would all be classified as ‘sensitive information’.

 

HOW LONG DO I NEED TO KEEP MY COMPLIANCE PAPERWORK FOR?

This depends on a number of factors, including what you have agreed to in your contracts with customers.

Records and documents need to be kept for different periods of time depending on the type of information. For example, under the Heavy Vehicle National Law, all work diary records must be kept:

  • for three years after they are created; and
  • at a location accessible to an authorised officer for audit or investigation purposes.

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

 

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June or 13 June.

Watch out for tip #5 next week – CoR and subcontracting agreements.

Eight weeks to CoR commencement - our compliance tips for transport operators - Tip #3

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyer - 04 May 2018 

 

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are expected to commence on 1 July 2018.

That means transport operators now have just eight weeks left to be ready.

This week we are up to the third in our series of ten tips to help with your last minute preparations.

TIP # 3 – REVIEW YOUR CONTRACTS

Section 26E of the new CoR provisions provides that a person must not enter into a contract with the driver of a heavy vehicle or a party in the chain of responsibility that the person knows (or ought reasonably to know) would have the effect of causing the driver, or would encourage the driver, or would encourage a party in the chain of responsibility to cause the driver:

  • to exceed a speed limit applying to the driver; or
  • to drive a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle while impaired by fatigue or in breach of the driver’s work and rest hours option.

It is therefore important that you review your agreements with other parties in the chain, including subcontracting agreements, to ensure that they do not contain provisions that might be considered as providing a party with an incentive to breach the new provisions.

The sorts of clauses in contracts that may contravene section 26E include:

  • unreasonable KPIs that, if breached, could result in the contract being terminated;
  • delivery times or deadlines that are unlikely to be able to be achieved; or
  • liquidated damages that apply in the event of freight being delivered late, regardless of the circumstances or reasons for the delay.

If you would like help in reviewing any of your contracts, please contact Gillian Bristow (07 3231 2925) or Emily Ng (07 3231 2986).

 

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

 

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June or 13 June

 

Watch out for tip #4 next week – Managing your CoR compliance paperwork.

 Thursday 3 May 2018 

Dear Industry Associates

 

There are a number of issues which are changing in regard to Road Law, Accreditation and Chain of Responsibility and administrative matters during the next few months, and we expect an acceleration of these issues going forward.

 

We have decided to implement a system of email distribution which will provide a brief, simplistic but accurate summary of the changes that are taking place in our business lives.

 

These will be titled “CoR Flash” and will be coming from our email address - operations@globalaccreditation.com.au .

 

As opposed to a newsletter which often involves a vast range of different topics, many of which are of no interest to many people, these emails will concentrate on one item solely, so that all of our associates are aware of the changes taking place in the business world which will affect them.

 

Please read the brief email and consider how the matters being discussed impact on your business.

 

It may be of course that they have no real interest or impact, but it may also be that a vital change is taking place of which you need to be aware.

 

These emails will commence on a semi-irregular basis prior to the end of April, and as an issue arises which we think you should be aware of, we will be sending out a brief alert.

 

You can also see past information and updates on our website

 

If you do not want or need to be communicated, please respond to this email with: unsubscribe

Nine weeks to CoR commencement - our compliance tips for transport operators - Tip #2

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers 27 April 2018 

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are expected to commence on 1 July 2018.

That means transport operators now have just nine weeks left to be ready.

This week we are up to the second in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.

TIP # 2 – DRIVERS, FATIGUE AND WORK DIARIES – MANAGING THE RISKS

Under the fatigue management provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles are required to comply with complex rules in relation to keeping work diaries, recording work and rest hours, and counting time (including overlapping periods).

The CoR changes mean that transport operators should have policies, procedures and training in place to ensure that drivers and parties in the chain of responsibility understand their fatigue management obligations. These policies, procedures and training should cover issues such as:

  • when drivers are required to keep a work diary;
  • what information needs to be recorded in work diaries;
  • what amounts to ‘work’ when counting maximum permitted work hours (it’s not just driving a heavy vehicle that counts);
  • when drivers are required to hand in copies of completed work diary pages;
  • who is responsible for monitoring and reviewing drivers’ completed work diaries and following up drivers who have not handed in copies of their work diary pages;
  • what drivers should do if they feel fatigued or unfit for duty;
  • the need for drivers (including drivers of your subcontractors) to report any warnings, infringement notices or court appearance notices they receive relating to fatigue management;
  • what drivers should do if customers’ delivery requirements are unreasonable or impracticable or may require drivers to exceed their maximum permitted work time or fail to have their minimum rest time;
  • what factors schedulers should take into account when putting together rosters and safe driving plans; and
  • the responsibilities of other parties in the chain of responsibility, including loading managers and customers.

If you would like help with developing a fatigue management policy or with understanding your fatigue management obligations, please contact Gillian Bristow (07 3231 2925) or Emily Ng (07 3231 2986).

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June 2018 or 13 June 2018

Watch out for tip #3 next week – Reviewing your contracts for CoR compliance.

Ten weeks to CoR commencement - our ten compliance tips for transport operators - Tip #1

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers 20 April 2018

As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are expected to commence on 1 July 2018.

That means transport operators have just ten weeks left to be ready.

To help with last minute preparations, we will issue weekly alerts for the next ten weeks and share some tips for compliance.

TIP # 1 – DEVELOP A CHAIN OF RESPONSIBILITY POLICY

The CoR changes mean that you should have safety management systems and controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes that:

  • identify, assess, evaluate, and control risk;
  • manage compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards requirements; and
  • document or record actions you take to manage safety in your business.

It is important that you can demonstrate that your business understands its CoR obligations and has communicated this understanding to its customers, staff and subcontractors. Having a CoR policy that details the various parties in the chain of responsibility, their roles and how your business will manage its CoR obligations is a good start. You may also find that other parties in the supply chain will ask you for a copy of your policy as part of their CoR preparations.

As with every business policy, your CoR policy should:

  • clearly set out roles, responsibilities and expectations and include definitions of any terms that are used throughout the policy;
  • be consistent with your other business policies; and
  • detail the consequences of a breach of the policy.

It is also important that the policy is readily accessible and regularly reviewed and that employees receive training about the policy and their obligations under it.

If you would like help with developing a chain of responsibility policy, please contact Gillian Bristow (07 3231 2925) or Emily Ng (07 3231 2986).

For those who need a general introduction to the new CoR regime, we are running a one hour webinar on 29 May 2018. All the details are here.

If your directors or managers need their questions answered on the new regime, we are running CoR half day masterclasses in Brisbane during June 2018 – all the details are available here: 6 June 2018 or 13 June 2018.

Watch out for tip #2 next week – Drivers, fatigue and work diaries – managing the risks.

Thursday 5 April 2018 - Greg Harmes 

Two key changes to Chain of Responsibility laws will impact Executive Officers in mid-2018. The first is the Primary Duty; the second: increased executive officer liabilities. The new CoR laws require Executive Officers to ensure their corporations comply with the CoR safety law. Amongst other things, executives will need to know, intimately: 1. What are the organisation's transport activities? 2. What are the individual, unique or specific transport safety risks? And, how does the business actively consult/engage on risk with its supply chain partners? 3. What systems and practices does the business have in place to manage/control those risks? 4. Are the practices and systems effective? (How are they tested? When, and how often, are they tested? What does safe look like in our supply chain?) 5. What reports/records are maintained (and provided to the Board or management) of the risks, controls, tests, and performance indicators for transport safety?

Remember the new Chain of Responsibility Laws are coming in 2018 – IS YOUR BUSINESS READY?

In 2018 we are running multiple Chain of Responsibility Seminars for organisations other than transport operators. In March we are teaming with the Wodonga Chamber of Commerce to deliver CoR training which will be based on Safety Management Systems.

To discuss how we can tailor training to suit your organisation, please contact Greg on 0417 585 223 or operations@globalaccreditation.com.au

 

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 23 January 2018

Issued by Managing Director of Global Accreditation Services, Greg Harmes

 

Release begins

 

Recent accidents and news reports have again bought to the forefront concerns over transport industry safety concerns.  Greg Harmes, Director of Global Accreditation Services commented:

 

“As a compliance auditor for the Transport Industry, I support the desirability of, and need for, the trucking industry to recognise, support and comply with truck safety regulations. Whilst high profile recent accidents have once again provoked community and industry attention and commentary, the regulators have been active in trying to put in place systems that will reduce risk for those involved in the transport industry.  But some involved in the industry are not doing what they need to do.”

 

“I support and commend the Australian Trucking Association and other transport industry associations to work with the regulator to ensure we have proper operator and driver education within the transport industry.  It is disappointing that the level of education, and ignorance of the benefits of having a clear safety management process, is leading to a lower level of truck safety than could be achieved.”

 

“A greater emphasis on safety systems will provide great benefit, not only to the families (and I mean the wives, husbands, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts) of drivers who are impacted by road accidents, but also to the owners and managers of the trucks and fleets.”

 

“Whilst regulators are focusing upon putting in place requirements for truck and fleet managers to have processes in place to ensure that drivers are fit for duty, and robust truck management regimes are in place to ensure vehicle safety, I am really very disappointed that some shonky operators and their advisors are taking short cuts that ultimately put in jeopardy public safety and reduce operational efficiency.”

 

“I can give you a couple of recent examples that I have come across”.

 

“I was engaged by a trucking business to audit the systems that would allow the business to be accredited in conforming to the various schemes.   When, I started the project in mid-December they had little in place. After spending a lot of time talking to the operator and making suggestions as to what needed to be done, the operator took little or no action, until in January management ended our engagement by saying that they no longer needed our help, as “other operators and auditors had advised them they did not need accreditation to go west”?  So, they discontinued our work despite not completing a written maintenance program or associated documents required, not complying with the WAHVA scheme, and having little of the required records in place.  Interesting to say the least, given that the operation has been audited & accredited under the MASS scheme (Schedule 8 maintenance of suspension is very similar to a number of the Maintenance standards), and had called me on the previous Saturday Night disheartened at being fined in South Australia for not having the required maintenance requirements.” (NHVAS Maintenance)

 

“I also had the misfortune to visit a local operator who called to regain accreditation, which was cancelled for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, was being assessed by the auditor as being non-conforming, due to the operator not being a qualified mechanic; albeit he had been servicing his equipment for a lot of years”

 

“In my view, the recent accidents, and these examples highlight the need to continue to improve the accreditation schemes, but to also improve the auditing process and to ensure that the management and driver responsibilities are understood and taken seriously.  I am dismayed that I still here of drivers skiting about their capacity to have a big drinking and partying weekend, and then getting in a truck to drive huge distances without sufficient time for recovery.   It is time to get this right, otherwise there will be more avoidable accidents which impact so much on our people and the reputation of our industry”.

 

“We need to educate people outside the industry more and those involved in the industry need to focus upon the integrity of the fleet and the safety consciousness of the drivers.”

 

End of Release

 

Further clarification and comment can be obtained by contacting Greg Harmes (Global Accreditation Services) (Ph. 0417 585 223).

 GOT YOUR TICKET TO RIDE? CHECKING UP ON YOUR GREY FLEET Health & Safety Bulletin, Porter Press 08/12/17

 

DEAR readers, today’s Health & Safety Bulletin is an interactive exercise. Are you ready?

I want you to send this email to your mobile device, wander down and take a look around your parking lot – and think about what you see.

It’s likely that not all of the vehicles you see there are owned by your company – potentially, very few are. But ask yourself, how many are used for work purposes – either occasionally or frequently?

 

The trend of companies reimbursing employees for using their own vehicles, rather than shelling out for taxis or the maintenance costs of company vehicles, increasingly is becoming the norm. These vehicles are sometimes known as the ‘grey fleet’. But while they might be privately owned by your workers, if the vehicles are being used for work purposes that makes them a “workplace” under health and safety laws.

 

The harmonised Work Health and Safety Act 2011 defines a workplace as any place is where work is carried out for a business or undertaking, and can include a vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or any other mobile structure. As it is a workplace, any risks faced by a worker there are yours and your company’s – just the same as if they were working at your business address.

 

Have a look around the parking lot again. Would you be happy for all these vehicles to be company cars? Are you absolutely sure?

Okay. Turn around and head back into the office. There’s a bit of paperwork to consider.

 

No grey areas allowed

Remember, your grey fleet includes any private vehicle used for work purposes – cars, utes, motorbikes and even bicycles can fit under the banner.

A vehicle which is subject to salary packaging or a novated lease will also be a part of your grey fleet– as the employer is responsible for the vehicles under these agreements.

 

Employees in the NT, the ACT and Queensland are also able to claim for workers’ compensation if injured while on their way to work, with some conditions, while in other states they are not covered. In NSW emergency services workers and volunteers, people injured in coal mines and others with a “real and substantial” between the job and the incident can also claim.

 

As a business-owner, you need to identify how to control, monitor and manage the drivers and their vehicles to mitigate risk. View it as you would any other workplace activity by understanding any hazards associated with your grey fleet – what are the risks of hazards occurring, what potential harm could be caused and what options exist to minimise those risks?

 

For your grey fleet, this should mean applying the same safety standards and document-control processes that you apply to a standard company vehicle. You should consider the question: “Is the organisation applying the same level of rigour to the grey fleet vehicle and, if not, why not?”

There should not be any privacy concerns about capturing information on grey fleet vehicles, because under the Privacy Act 1988, employers are entitled to make a request of this nature.

 

However, you should treat this information as part of an active grey fleet management process – and treat it with the same confidentiality as you would any other employee information – in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

 

Building your grey fleet policy

Chapter V1 Vehicle Safety of the Health & Safety Handbook says that while safety policies will vary between industries, assessing driver competency and monitoring the driving behaviour of your employees is a must. This includes checking the employee’s driving record and awareness of road safety – which could include checking their licence details, driving history and driving records, including any demerit points.

 

In your policy you might want to set out an accident or breakdown procedure and include clauses about the safe carriage of equipment, fatigue management, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, road rage incidents, and the use of electronic devices. You should also consider whether an employee’s vehicle is fit-for-purpose. Is it appropriately registered, roadworthy, properly maintained and insured? What standards you wish to apply here is entirely up to you.

 

The Vehicle Safety chapter contains a step-by-step guide to managing fleet safety and discusses these and other points in much greater detail.

 

SUBCONTRACTING: TIPS AND TRAPS WEBINAR

Presented by: COOPER GRACE WARD LAWYERS

 

EVENT DETAILS

DATE: Tuesday 14th November

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm (log on at 12.15pm)

 

Subcontracting arrangements are commonplace in the transport industry. Most transport operators both engage subcontractors themselves and act as a subcontractor to other carriers.

Our webinar will cover practical issues including:

  • What’s the difference between employment and subcontracting and why does it matter?
  • What terms should you include in your subcontracting agreements as the principal contractor?
  • What clauses do you need to watch out for as the subcontractor?
  • How does the chain of responsibility legislation apply to subcontracting arrangements?
  • What state and federal legislation regulates the engagement of subcontractors and owner drivers?

The seminar will be of benefit to road transport operators, warehouse operators and their advisers.

We hope that you are able to join us.

 

TO REGISTER VISIT: http://www.cgw.com.au/event/subcontracting-tips-traps/ 

 TRUCK DRIVER MEAL ALLOWANCES: FIXED

Media release – Australian Trucking Association 27/10/2017

 

The tax office has fixed truck driver meal allowances, following close consultations with the ATA, its members and other trucking industry associations.

 

In July, the tax office announced that employee truck drivers would only be able to claim $55.30 per day in meal allowances without detailed receipts.

 

In its revised determination, released today, the tax office has reinstated its former meal-by-meal approach to reasonable meal amounts. The new reasonable amounts for 2017-18 are:

 

breakfast: $24.25*

lunch: $27.65*

dinner: $47.70*

 

ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said the revised determination would benefit 38,000 truck drivers and treat them as professionals. “The new determination means that truck drivers can claim, without detailed receipts, the same amount for meals as other comparable employees in what are called tier 2 and other country centres,” Mr Crouch said.

 

“One of the ATA’s highest priorities is to make sure that government agencies never treat truck drivers as second class citizens. Our drivers are professionals and deliver the goods for Australia.

 

“We took this argument into our initial discussions with the tax office. The decision reflects our approach.” Mr Crouch emphasised that truck drivers could only claim for the amount they spent on a meal, despite the reasonable amount.

 

“If you spend $45 on dinner, you can only claim a deduction for $45, not $47.70. Because it is within the reasonable amount, however, you do not need to keep every receipt,” he said.

 

“The tax office fact sheet sets out the evidence you do need to be able to provide if you are audited.”

 

Mr Crouch said the ATA would now focus on the meal allowance amounts for 2018-19 and beyond.

 

“We want to work with the tax office to simplify the claiming system further. There were also a number of issues raised by our member associations and individual drivers in our consultations that we could not resolve in the urgent timeframe for getting this decision fixed,” he said.

 

Mr Crouch thanked the ATA’s member associations, other associations and the staff of the tax office for their work.

 

“The ATA, its members and other associations worked closely together to get this result. I’d also like to thank the staff of the tax office for their willingness to discuss and resolve our issues, once we had explained our concerns,” he said.

 

*These amounts are separate and cannot be combined into a single daily amount or moved from one meal to another. As a result of the discussions with industry, the ATO has accepted that some drivers eat their meals at unconventional times, depending on their work and rest hours. A drivers can claim (for example) for a dinner eaten in the morning after an overnight shift, but cannot claim a deduction for more than one meal of each type in a 24 hour period.

INDUSTRY UNITES OVER HANDLING OF TRAVEL EXPENSES CHANGE 

Tuesday, 25th July 2017, Greg Harmes 

 

I support the context of ARTIO's comments and determination, but can we substantiate the "Healthy" eating of drivers, to support our call for this to enable drivers to continue to eat healthy. What are the percentages, from my experience all and sundry cry poor and cannot afford to eat healthy. Where do the BP's etc sit in all of this outcry and their perception of a healthy meal?  I get sick of hearing different organisations saying that they cannot do anything about their "franchised" business'. The commitment should include the management of the cafeteria of the facilities available. 

 

 

Company News

TBGC Certificate

 

 

We are excited that our new office has opened today, 6 March 2018.  After 2 1/2 years in the Visitor Information Centre we can finally have a fully functional operation centre where we can deliver our promises on the management of Chain of responsibility including auditing and training. We have also appointed a new auditor whose specialty is work Health and safety; watch this space for updates.

 

Because of the nature of the facility we will be opening as a fully functional business centre, including an office space for casual rent, office administration operations including scanning, copying, faxing.

 

This will also include a Medicare & DHS Access point and V/line booking centre.

 

  

 

 

 

We are MOVING!

 

Global Accreditation Services is moving office! But don’t worry we are still in the great location of Tocumwal and moving just around the corner to 10 Deniliquin Street, Tocumwal (next door to the newsagent). You can find us in our new office from next week. Our contact details will stay same.

 

Please pop in and say hi and check out our new office.  

 

 

Certificate of Appreciation - TBGC

 Volunteer Christmas Party  

On Friday 8th December we enjoyed a lovely morning tea at the Tocumwal Antiques and Tearooms to thank the valuable volunteers of the Tocumwal Tourist Visitor Information Centre for their efforts in supporting the town throughout 2017.  

 

2017 Finalist NSW Chamber (Murray Riverina) Business Leader Award

The primary achievements have been to continue to operate a successful business located in a small rural town that provides “on the ground service” to transport operators across the nation.  Mr Harmes has also been recognised as a key industry advocate and a provider of wise counsel, as operators and regulators continue to pursue the dual goals of a safer and more financially sustainable industry.

 

Over this period the companies have continued to expand, as shown by a 40% increase in the number of clients serviced by the company, and an annual average turnover increase of 6.5%.  Staff have been retained where possible, or replaced with quality people who are trained appropriately.  This has allowed GAS and FDT to retain and embellish their great reputation within the industry as providers of client specific, timely, effective advice, efficient systems and innovative solutions to issues confronting industry operators.

 

The companies take pride in offering pro-active advice and solutions to enable improved transport operator safety and regulatory compliance

 

   

 

 

 

Tocumwal Tourism - http://www.toconthemurray.com.au/

 

NHVR Industry Updates

Click here to view the latest NHVR Industry Updates - https://www.nhvr.gov.au/news-events/industry-updates

 

National Road Transport Association (NatRoad)

Click here to view the latest NatRoad news - https://www.natroad.com.au/news/

 

Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA)

Click here to view the latest LBCA news - http://lbrca.org.au/category/news/

 

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA)

Click here to view the latest ALRTA news - http://alrta.org.au/category/media-releases/

 

Australian Trucking Association (ATA)

Click here to view the ATA's Friday Facts - http://www.truck.net.au/public/newsletters/friday-facts

 

For more information about your state or territory, please refer to the following websites:

 

 Events